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THE 



GREY FAIRY BOOK 



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THE 



Grey Fairy Book 



EDITED BY 

ANDREW LANG 




WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY II. J. FORD 



LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 

91 AND 93 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK 

LONDON AND BOMBAY 

1905 



All rights reserved 

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CpiJYijiejViY 1900 * * '- c 

L©NdSH«*I^g, c Gi:EEN, AND £*>! c c * c " t «" 



F5r$£ Edition, October, 1900. 
RopKiyrKD, September, 1001. c 
Re^rin^e^, August, 1905 t l c ( , 



THE NEW YOKli 

PUBLIC 'IPRARY 

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AS"' -R LE 1 'X AND 
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John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U. S- A. 



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PREFACE 



The tales in the Grey Fairy Book are derived from 
many countries — Lithuania, various parts of Africa, 
Germany, France, Greece, and other regions of the 
world. They have been translated and adapted by 
Mrs. Dent, Mrs. Lang, Miss Eleanor Sellar, Miss 
Blackley, and Miss Lang. ' The Three Sons of 
Hali ' is from the last century ' Cabinet des Fees,' 
a very large collection. The French author may 
have had some Oriental original before him in parts ; 
at all events he copied the Eastern method of put- 
ting tale within tale, like the Eastern balls of carved 
ivory. The stories, as usual, illustrate the method 
of popular fiction. A certain number of incidents are 
shaken into many varying combinations, like the 
fragments of coloured glass in the kaleidoscope. 
Probably the possible combinations, like possible 
musical combinations, are not unlimited in number, 
but children may be less sensitive in the matter of 
fairies than Mr. John Stuart Mill was as regards 
music. 



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CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Donkey Skin 1 

The Goblin Pony 16 

An Impossible Enchantment ...... 19 

The Story of Dschemil and Dschemila .... 38 

Janni and the Draken . .01 

The Partnership of the Thief and the Liar .... 07 
Fortunatus and his Purse ....... 71 

The Goat-faced Girl 81 

What came of picking Flowers 93 

The Story of Bensurdatu ....... 103 

The Magician's Horse . . . . . . .110 

The Little Gray Man 129 

Herr Lazarus and the Draken ...... 130 

The Story of the Queen of the Flowery Isles . . . 141 

TJdea and her Seven Brothers . . . . . .153 

The White Wolf 108 

Mohammed with the Magic Finger . . . . .178 

Bobino 197 

The Dog and the Sparrow ....... 205 

The Story of the Three Sons of Halt 210 

The Story of the Fair Circassians . . . . .245 
The Jackal and the Spring ...... 205 

The Bear 209 

The Sunchild 275 

The Daughter of Buk Ettemsuch 280 

Laughing Eye and Weeping Eye, or the Limping Fox. . 293 

The Unlooked-for Prince 300 

The Simpleton . . 309 

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2 CONTEXTS 








PAGE 


The Street Musicians 317 


The Twin Brothers 








322 


Cannetella .... 








332 


The Ogre ..... 








344 


A Fairy's Blunder 








353 


Long, Broad, and Qtdckeye 








3GG 


Prunella ..... 








382 



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ILLUSTRATIONS 



PLATES 



The Dervish drowning the Pigs 
The Fairy, the Princess, and the Donkey's Skin 
The King sees Princess Mutinosa out Hunting 
The Fairy-car arrives .... 
Dschemila outwits the Ogre 
Dschemila gets rid of the Ass's Head 
The Gift of Fortuna .... 
The Lizard takes charge of Renzolla 
What came of picking Jessamine 
How the White Dove escaped 
How the Three Princesses were lost 
Bensurdatu attacks the Seven-headed Serpent 
The Gardener gets the Apple . 
The little Gray Man .... 
The Princess is swallowed up by the Earth 
She spent the whole Day near the Fountain 
Udea found Lifeless by her Seven Brothers 
The Bride wishes to buy the Spinning-icheel 
The Townspeople make Bobino King 
There appeared in the Doorway a lovely Jewe: 
Zelida discovers the Writing on the Flask 
Sumi shows Hassan the Book of Magic . 
The wrong Heads on the wrong Bodies . 
The Dervish Drowning the Pigs 
The Maiden creeps out of the Pot . 
Limping Fox advises the Simpleton to keep the 
Girl himself ...... 



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xii ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Princess heaten by Quick-as-Thougld . . to face p. 312 

The Brother comes to the Rescue .... „ 328 

Scioravante leaves CanneteUa in the Stable . . „ 334 

Cannetella comes out of the Cask .... „ 338 

The Sadness of her Face seemed to pass into his Heart „ 36G 

The Guardians caught Napping .... „ 37G 



IN TEXT 

The King's Pet Donkey .... 
The Donkey-skin falls off 

The Goblin Pony 

The Sea-people visit Graziella 

Dschemila gets an A ss's Head 

Janni and his Dogs fight the Three-headed Drake 

' 1 once saw ' . 

Renzolla sees her Face in the Mirror 

How the Magician was thwarted by the Brush 

The Hero discovered . . . 

How the Draken found Herr Lazarus asleep by the Spnntj 

The Negro compels Udea to icalk 

Udea finds the Man-eater .... 

The White Wolf asks the Princess a Question in the Wood 
My Uncle is coming ..... 

How Mohammed finds his Uncle 
How the Carter killed his Horse . 
Neangir sees the Picture of Argentine 
Zinebi puts the Turban on the Pot 
The Bassa laughs at the Circassians . 
The Circassians dance into the Bassa^s Garden 
The Prince kicks the Bear out of the Boom . 
' Letiko, Letiko, come down and see what a beautiful Apron 
I have '...... 

Letiko gets Home safe after all . 

The Daughter of Buk Ettemsuch 

Antonio is not afraid of the Ogre 

Broad puffs himself out .... 



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/ ' b&NKEY *S£iN 



There wa§ once upon a time a king wjio* was so muck 
beloved by Ms subjects that he thougktfliiinself the hap- 
piest monarch j& the whole world, and he had everything 
bis heart cOuld 'desire. His palace* was, filled with the 
rarest of curiosities, and his gai;deM^ u with the sweetest 
flowers, while fri/JjVeVmarble* stall's of "i\i§ stables stood a 
row of milk-white* A>abs^ with big Wown eyes. 

Strangers who had heaiacl. ©f*t*he marvels which the 
king had collected, and made long journeys to see them, 
were, however, surprised to find the most splendid stall 
of all occupied by a donkey, with particularly large and 
drooping ears. It was a very fine donkey ; but still, as far 
as they could tell, nothing so very remarkable as to 
account for the care with which it was lodged ; and they 
went away wondering, for they could not know that every 
night, when it was asleep, bushels of gold pieces tumbled 
out of its ears, which were picked up each morning by 
the attendants. 

After many years of prosperity a sudden blow fell 
upon the king in the death of his wife, whom he loved 
dearly. But before she died, the queen, who had always 
thought first of his happiness, gathered all her strength, 
and said to him : 

4 Promise me one thing: you must marry again, I 
know, for the good of your people, as well as of yourself. 
But do not set about it in a hurry. Wait until you have 
found a woman more beautiful and better formed than 
myself/ 

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2 DONKEY SKIN 

4 Oh, do not speak to me of marrying,' sobbed the 
king ; ' rather let me die with 3-011 ! ' But the queen only 
smiled faintly, and turned over on her pillow and died. 

For some months the king's grief was great; then 
gradually he began .to forget a little, and, besides, his 
counsellors were aiwtfy^ <ni:gmg him/ to seek another wife. 
At first he refused .to ttsteh to .them^'but by-and-by he 
allowed himself to be persuaded t r o, think of it, only 
stipulating that the bride should be iriore beautiful and 
attractive than -the late queen, according to the promise 
he had macTe[$g)\-. 

Overjoyed \at having obtained what .they wanted, the 
counsellors s,e'n{> envoys far and wide<,'tb get portraits 
of all the mds.tf^ious, beauties of eyerj' country. The 
artists were very-' bus? and did thtyr. best, but, alas! 
nobody could even, pretend that anj of the ladies could 
compare for a moment with the late queen. 

At length, one day, when he had turned away dis- 
couraged from a fresh collection of pictures, the king's 
eyes fell on his adopted daughter, who had lived in the 
palace since she was a baby, and he saw that, if a woman 
existed on the whole earth more lovely than the queen, 
this was she ! He at once made known what his wishes 
were, but the young girl, who was not at all ambitious, 
and had not the faintest desire to marry him, was filled 
with dismay, and begged for time to think about it. 
That night, when everyone was asleep, she started in a 
little car drawn by a big sheep, and went to consult her 
fairy godmother. 

1 1 know what you have come to tell me,' said the 
fairy, when the maiden stepped out of the car ; ' and if you 
don't wish to marry him, I will show you how to avoid 
it. Ask him to give you a dress that exactly matches 
the sky. It will be impossible for him to get one, so 
you will be quite safe.' The girl thanked the fairy and 
returned home again. 

The next morning, when her father (as she had always 

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DOXKEY SKIN 



3 



called him) came to see her, she told him that she could 
give him no answer until he had presented her with a 




dress the colour of the sky. The king, overjoyed at this 
answer, sent for all the choicest weavers and dressmakers 
in the kingdom, and commanded them to make a robe 

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4 DONKEY SKIS 

the colour of the sk} T without an instant's delay, or he 
would cut off their heads at once. Dreadfully frightened 
at this threat, they all began to dye and cut and sew, and 
in two days they brought back the dress, which looked 
as if it had been cut straight out of the heavens ! The 
poor girl was thunderstruck, and did not know what to 
do ; so in the night she harnessed her sheep again, and 
went in search of her godmother. 

4 The king is cleverer than I thought,' said the fairy; 
' but tell him you must have a dress of moonbeams/ 

And the next day, when the king summoned her into 
his presence, the girl told him what she wanted. 

'Madam, I can refuse you nothing,' said he; and he 
ordered the dress to be ready in twenty-four hours, or 
every man should be hanged. 

They set to work with all their might, and by dawn 
next day, the dress of moonbeams was laid across her 
bed. The girl, though she could not help admiring its 
beauty, began to cry, till the fairy, who heard her, came to 
her help. 

i A Veil, I could not have believed it of him ! ' said she; 
6 but ask for a dress of sunshine, and I shall be surprised 
indeed if he manages that! J 

The goddaughter did not feel much faith in the fairy 
after her two previous failures ; but not knowing what else 
to do, she told her father what she was bid. 

The king made no dilliculties about it, and even gave his 
finest rubies and diamonds to ornament the dress, which 
was so dazzling, when finished, that it could not be looked 
at save through smoked glasses ! 

When the princess saw it, she pretended that the 
sight hurt her eyes, and retired to her room, where she 
found the fairy awaiting her, very much ashamed of 
herself. 

'There is only one thing to be done now,' cried she; 
' you must demand the skin of the ass he sets such 
store by. It is from that donkey he obtains all his 

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DONKEY SKIN 7 

vast riches, and I am sure lie will never give it to 
you,' 

The princess was not so certain ; however, she went to 
the king, and told him she could never marry him till 
he had given her the ass's skin. 

The king was both astonished and grieved at this new 
request, but did not hesitate an instant. The ass was 
sacrificed, and the skin laid at the feet of the princess. 

The poor girl, seeing no escape from the fate she 
dreaded, wept afresh, and tore her hair; when, suddenly, 
the fairy stood before her. 

1 Take heart,' she said, ' all will now go well ! Wrap 
yourself in this skin, and leave the palace and go as far 
as you can. I will look after you. Your dresses and your 
jewels shall follow you underground, and if you strike the 
earth whenever you need anything, you will have it at 
once. But go quickly : you have no time to lose.' 

So the princess clothed herself in the ass's skin, 
and slipped from the palace without being seen by any- 
one. 

Directly she was missed there was a great hue and 
cry, and every corner, possible and impossible, was 
searched. Then the king sent out parties along all the 
roads, but the fairy threw her invisible mantle over the 
girl when they approached, and none of them could see 
her. 

The princess walked on a long, long way, trying 
to find some one who would take her in, and let her work 
for them; but though the cottagers, whose houses she 
passed, gave her food from charity, the ass's skin was so 
dirty they would not allow her to enter their houses. For 
her flight had been so hurried she had had no time to 
clean it. 

Tired and disheartened at her ill-fortune, she was 
wandering, one day, past the gate of a farmyard, situated 
just outside the walls of a large town, when she heard a 
voice calling to her. She turned and saw the farmer's 

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8 D ON KEY SKIN 

wife standing among her turkeys, and making signs to 
her to come in. 

' I want a girl to wash the dishes and feed the turkeys, 
and clean out the pig-sty/ said the woman, ' and, to 
judge by } T our dirty clothes, you would not be too fine for 
the work.' 

The girl accepted her offer with joy, and she was at 
once set to work in a corner of the kitchen, where all 
the farm servants came and made fun Of her, and the 
ass's skin in which she was wrapped. But by-and-by 
they got so used to the sight of it that it ceased to amuse 
them, and she worked so hard and so well, that her 
mistress grew quite fond of her. And she was so clever 
at keeping sheep and herding turkeys that you would 
have thought she had done nothing else during her whole 
life! 

One day she was sitting on the banks of a stream 
bewailing her wretched lot, when she suddenly caught 
sight of herself in the water. Her hair and part of her 
face was quite concealed by the ass's head, which was 
drawn right over like a hood, and the filthy matted skin 
covered her whole body. It was the first time she had 
seen herself as other people saw her, and she was filled 
with shame at the spectacle. Then she threw off her 
disguise and jumped into the water, plunging in again 
and again, till she shone like ivory. When it was time 
to go back to the farm, she was forced to put on the skin 
which disguised her, and now seemed more dirty than 
ever; but, as she did so, she comforted herself with the 
thought that to-morrow was a holiday, and that she 
would be abla for a few hours to forget that she was a 
farm girl, and be a princess once more. 

So, at break of day, she stamped on the ground, as the 
fairy had told her, and instantly the dress like the sky 
lay across her tiny bed. Her room was so small that 
there was no place for the train of her dress to spread 
itself out, but she pinned it up carefully when she combed 

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DONKEY SKIN 9 

her beautiful hair and piled it up on the top of her head, 
as she had always worn it. When she had done, she 
was so pleased with herself that she determined never 
to let a chance pass of putting on her splendid clothes, 
even if she had to wear them in the fields, with no one 
to admire her but the sheep and turkeys. 

Now the farm was a royal farm, and, one holiday, when 
4 Donkey Skin ' (as they had nicknamed the princess) 
had locked the door of her room and clothed herself in 
her dress of sunshine, the king's son rode through the 
gate, and asked if he might come and rest himself a little 
after hunting. Some food and milk were set before him 
in the garden, and when he felt rested he got up, and 
began to explore the house, which was famous through- 
out the whole kingdom for its age and beauty. lie 
opened one door after the other, admiring the old rooms, 
when he came to a handle that would not turn. He 
stooped and peeped through the keyhole to see what was 
inside, and was greatly astonished at beholding a beautiful 
girl, clad in a dress so dazzling that he could hardly look 
at it. 

The dark gallery seemed darker than ever as he turned 
away, but he went back to the kitchen and inquired who 
slept in the room at the end of the passage. The scullery 
maid, they told him, whom everybody laughed at, and 
called 'Donkey Skin;' and though he perceived there 
was some strange mystery about this, he saw quite clearly 
there was nothing to be gained by asking any more ques- 
tions. So he rode back to the palace, his head filled with 
the vision he had seen through the keyhole. 

All night long he tossed about, and awoke the next 
morning in a high fever. The queen, who had no other 
child, and lived in a state of perpetual anxiety about this 
oue, at once gave him up for lost, and indeed his sudden 
illness puzzled the greatest doctors, who tried the usual 
remedies in vain. At last they told the queen that some 
secret sorrow must be at the bottom of all this, and 

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10 DOXKEY SKIN 

she throw herself on her knees beside her son's bed, and 
implored him to confide his trouble to her. If it was 
ambition to be king, his father would gladly resign the 
cares of the crown, and suiter him to reign in his stead; 
or, if it was love, everything should be sacrificed to get for 
him the wife he desired, even if she were daughter of a 
king with whom the country was at war at present! 

1 Madam,' replied the prince, whose weakness would 
hardly allow him to speak, * do not think me so unnatural 
as to wish to deprive my father of his crown. As long as 
he lives I shall remain the most faithful of his subjects! 
And as to the princesses you speak of, 1 have seen none 
that I should care for as a wife, though I would always 
obey your wishes, whatever it might cost me.' 

* Ah! my son,' cried she, ' we will do anything in the 
world to save your life — and ours too, for if you die, we 
shall die also.' 

1 Well, then,' replied the prince, ' 1 will tell you the 
only thing that will cure me — a cake made by the hand 
of " Donkey Skin." ' 

4 Donkey Skin?' exclaimed the queen, who thought 
her son had gone mad; 4 and who or what is that?' 

' Madam,' answered one of the attendants present, who 
had been with the prince at the farm, 4 " Donkey Skin " is, 
next to the wolf, the most disgusting creature on the face 
of the earth. She is a girl who wears a black, greasy 
skin, and lives at your farmer's as hen-wife.' 

4 Never mind,' said the queen ; ' my son seems to have 
eaten some of her pastry. It is the whim of a sick man, 
no doubt; but send at once ami let her bake a cake.' 

The attendant bowed and ordered a page to ride with 
the message. 

Now it is by no means certain that ' Donkey Skin' had 
not caught a glimpse of the prince, either when his eyes 
looked through the keyhole, or else from her little window, 
which was over the road. But whether she had actually 
seen him or only heard him spoken of, directly she 

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DONKEY SKIN 11 

received the queen's command, she flung off the dirty 
skin, washed herself from head to foot, and put on a skirt 
and bodice of shining silver. Then, locking herself into 
her room, she took the richest cream, the finest flour, and 
the freshest eggs on the farm, and set about making her 
cake. 

As she was stirring the mixture in the saucepan a 
ring that she sometimes wore in secret slipped from her 
finger and fell into the dough. Perhaps ' Donkey Skin ' saw 
it, or perhaps she did not; hut, any way, she went on 
stirring, and soon the cake was ready to he put in the 
oven. When it was nice and brown she took off her 
dress and put on her dirty skin, and gave the cake to the 
page, asking at the same time for news of the prince. 
But the page turned his head aside, and would not even 
condescend to answer. 

The page rode like the wind, and as soon as he arrived 
at the palace he snatched up a silver tray and hastened to 
present the cake to the prince. The sick man began to eat 
it so fast that the doctors thought he would choke ; and, 
indeed, he very nearly did, for the ring was in one of the 
bits which he broke off, though he managed to extract it 
from his month without anyone seeing him. 

The moment the prince was left alone he drew the 
ring from under his pillow and kissed it a thousand times. 
Then he set his mind to find how he was to see the 
owner — for even he did not dare to confess that he had 
only beheld c Donkey Skin' through a keyhole, lest they 
should laugh at this sudden passion. All this worry 
brought back the fever, which the arrival of the cake had 
diminished for the time ; and the doctors, not knowing what 
else to say, informed the queen that her son was simply 
dying of love. The queen, stricken with horror, rushed 
into the king's presence with the news, and together they 
hastened to their son's bedside. 

' My boy, my dear boy ! ' cried the king, ' who is it you 
want to marry? ^Ye will give her to you for a bride, 

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12 DONKEY SKIN 

even if she is the humblest of our slaves. What is there 
in the whole world that we would not do for you? ' 

The prince, moved to tears at these words, drew the 
riniz:, which was an emerald of the purest water, from 
under his pillow. 

' Ah, dear father and mother, let this be a proof that 
she whom I love is no peasant girl. The finger which 
that ring fits has never been thickened by hard work. 
But be her condition what it may, I will marry no other.' 

The king and queen examined the tiny ring very 
elosely, and agreed, with their son, that the wearer could 
be no mere -farm girl. Then the king went out and 
ordered heralds and trumpeters to go thuugh the town, 
summoning every maiden t> the palace. And she whom 
the ring fitted would some day be queen, 

First came all the princesses, then ml tne duchesses' 
daughters, and so on, in proper order. JJut not one of 
them could slip the ring over the tip of her finger, to 
the great joy of the prince, whom excitement was fast 
curing. At last, when the high-born damsels had failed, 
the shopgirls and chambermaids took their turn; but 
with no better fortune. 

1 Call in the scullions and shepherdesses,' commanded 
the prince ; but the sight of their fat, red fingers satisfied 
everybody. 

4 There is not a woman left, your Highness,' said the 
chamberlain ; but the prince waved him aside. 

4 Have you sent for " Donkey Skin," who made me the 
cake?' asked he, and the courtiers began to laugh, and 
replied that they would not have dared to introduce so 
dirty a creature into the palace. 

1 Let some one go for her at once,' ordered the king. 
' I commanded the presence of every maiden, high or low, 
and T meant it.' 

The princess had heard the trumpets and the pro- 
clamations, and knew quite well that her ring was at the 
bottom of it all. She. too, had fallen in love with the 

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DONKEY SKIN 



13 



prince in the brief glimpse she had had of him, and 
trembled with fear lest someone else's finder mio;ht be 




Jke/lWk^csHiT^jMU) off^ 



as small as her own. When, therefore, the messenger 
from the palace rode up to the gate, she was nearly 
beside herself with delight. Hoping all the time for 

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11 DOXKEY SKIX 

such a summons, she had dressed herself with great 
care, putting on the garment of moonlight, whose skirt 
was scattered over with emeralds. But when they began 
calling to her to come down, she hastily covered herself 
with her donkey-skin and announced she was ready to 
present herself before his Highness. She was taken 
straight into the hall, where the prince was awaiting her, 
but at the sight of the donkey-skin his heart sank. Had 
lie been mistaken after all? 

i Are you the girl,' he said, turning his eyes away as 
he spoke, l are you the girl who has a room in the furthest 
corner of the inner court of the farmhouse?' 

' Yes, my lord, I am,' answered she. 

4 Hold out your hand then,' continued the prince, 
feeling that he must keep his word, whatever the cost, 
and, to the astonishment of every one present, a little 
hand, white and delicate, came from beneath the black 
and dirty skin. The riug slipped on with the utmost 
ease, and, as it did so, the skin fell to the ground, dis- 
closing a figure of such beauty that the prince, weak as 
he was, fell on his knees before her, while the king and 
queen joined their prayers to his. Indeed, their welcome 
was so warm, and their caresses so bewildering, that the 
princess hardly knew T how to find w T ords to reply, when 
the ceiling of the hall opened, and the fairy godmother 
appeared, seated in a car made entirely of white lilac. 
Tn a few words she explained the history of the princess, 
and how she came to be there, and, without losing a 
moment, preparations of the most magnificent kind were 
made for the wedding. 

The kings of every country in the earth were invited, 
including, of course, the princess's adopted father (who by 
this time had married a widow), and not one refused. 

But what a strange assembly it was! Each monarch 
travelled in the way he thought most impressive; and 
some came borne in litters, others had carriages of every 
shape and kind, while the rest were mounted on ele- 

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DONKEY SKIN 15 

phants, tigers, and even upon eagles. So splendid a 
wedding had never been seen before ; and when it was 
over the king announced that it was to be followed by a 
coronation, for lie and the queen were tired of reigning, 
and the young couple must take their place. The 
rejoicings lasted for three whole months, then the new 
sovereigns settled down to govern their kingdom, and 
made themselves so much beloved by their subjects, that 
when they died, a hundred years later, each man mourned 
them as his own father and mother. 

[From Le Cabinet des Fees.'] 



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16 



THE GOBLIN PONY 

4 Don't stir from the fireplace to-night/ said old Peggy, 
' for the wind is blowing so violently that the house 
shakes ; besides, this is Hallow-e'en, when the witches 
are abroad, and the goblins, who are their servants, are 
wandering about in all sorts of disguises, doing harm to 
the children of men.' 

4 Why should 1 stay here ? ' said the eldest of the 
young people. 6 No, I must go and see what the 
daughter of old Jacob, the rope-maker, is doing. She 
would n't close her blue eyes all night if I did n't visit her 
father before the moon had gone down.' 

4 1 must go and catch lobsters and crabs,' said the 
second, 4 and not all the witches and goblins in the world 
shall hinder me.' 

So they all determined to go on their business or 
pleasure, and scorned the wise advice of old Peggy. 
Only the youngest child hesitated a minute, when she 
said to him, 4 You stay here, my little Richard, and I will 
tell you beautiful stories.' 

But he wanted to pick a bunch of wild thyme and some 
blackberries by moonlight, and ran out after the others. 
"When they got outside the house they said : ' The old 
woman talks of wind and storm, but never was the 
weather finer or the sky more clear; see how majestically 
the moon stalks through the transparent clouds ! ' 

Then all of a sudden they noticed a little black pony 
close beside them. 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 



THE GOBLIN PONT 



17 



' Oh, ho ! ' they said, i that is old Valentine's pony; it 
must have escaped from its stable, and is going down to 
drink at the horse- pond.' 

' My pretty little pony/ said the eldest, patting the 
creature with his hand, ' yon must n't run too far; I 'II take 
you to the pond myself.' 

With these words he jumped on the pony's back and 
was quickly followed by his second brother, then by the 
third, and so on, till at last they were all astride the little 




beast, down to the small Richard, who did n't like to be 
left behind. 

On the way to the pond they met several of their 
companions, and they invited thorn all to mount the pony, 
which they did, and the little creature did not seem to 
mind the extra weight, but trotted merrily along. 

The quicker it trotted the more the young people 
enjoyed the fun; they dug their heels into the pony's 
sides and called out, ' Gallop, little horse, you have never 
had such brave riders on your back before ! ' 

2 

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18 THE GOBLIN PONY 

In the meantime the wind had risen again, and the 
waves began to howl ; but the pony did not seem to mind 
the noise, and instead of going to the pond, cantered 
gaily towards the sea-shore. 

llichard began to regret his thyme and blackberries, and 
the eldest brother seized the pony by the mane and tried 
to make it turn round, for he remembered the blue eyes 
of Jacob the rope-maker's daughter. But he tugged and 
pulled in vain, for the pony galloped straight on into the 
sea, till the waves met its forefeet. As soon as it felt 
the water it neighed lustily and capered about with glee, 
advancing quickly into the foaming billows. When the 
waves had covered the children's legs they repented their 
careless behaviour, and cried out : ' The cursed little black 
pony is bewitched. If we had only listened to old Peggy's 
advice we should n't have been lost.' 

The further the pony advanced, the higher rose the 
sea ; at last the waves covered the children's heads and 
they were all drowned. 

Towards morning old Peggy went out, for she was 
anxious about the fate of her grandchildren. She sought 
them high and low, but could not find them anywhere. 
She asked all the neighbours if they had seen the children, 
but no one knew anything about them, except that the 
eldest had not been with the blue-eyed daughter of Jacob 
the rope-maker. 

As she was going home, bowed with grief, she saw a 
little black pony coming towards her, springing and 
curveting in every direction. When it got quite near 
her it neighed loudly, and galloped past her so quickly 
that in a moment it was out of her sight. 

[From the French, Kletke.'] 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



19 



AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

There once lived a king who was much loved by his 
people, and he, too, loved them warmly. He led a very 
happy life, but he had the greatest dislike to the idea of 
marrying, nor had he ever felt the slightest wish to fall 
in love. His subjects begged him to marry, and at last 
he promised to try to do so. But as, so far, he had 
never cared for any woman he had seen, he made up his 
mind to travel in hopes of meeting some lady he could 
love. 

So he arranged all the affairs of state in an orderly 
manner, and set out, attended by only one equerry, who, 
though not very clever, had most excellent good sense. 
These people indeed generally make the best fellow- 
travellers. 

The king explored several countries, doing all he could 
to fall in love, but in vain ; and at the end of two years' 
journeys he turned his face towards home, with as free 
a heart as when he set out. 

As he was riding along through a forest he suddenly 
heard the most awful miawing and shrieking of cats you 
can imagine. The noise drew nearer, and nearer, and at 
last they saw a hundred huge Spanish cats rush through 
the trees close to them. They were so closely packed 
together that you could easily have covered them with 
a large cloak, and all were following the same track. 
They were closely pursued by two enormous apes, dressed 
in purple suits, with the prettiest and best made boots 
you ever saw. 

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20 A2T IMPOSSIBLE ENCHAyTMENT 

The apes were mounted on superb mastiffs, and 
spurred them on in hot haste, blowing shrill blasts on 
little toy trumpets all the time. 

The king and his equerry stood still to watch this 
strange hunt, which was followed by twenty or more 
little dwarfs, some mounted on wolves, and leading relays, 
and others with cats in leash. The dwarfs were all 
dressed in purple silk liveries like the apes. 

A moment later a beautiful young woman mounted 
on a tiger came in sight. She passed close to the king, 
riding at full speed, without taking any notice of him; 
but he was at once enchanted by her, and his heart was 
gone in a moment. 

To his great joy he saw that one of the dwarfs had 
fallen behind the rest, and at once began to question 
him. 

The dwarf told him that the lady he had just seen 
was the Princess Mutinosa, the daughter of the king in 
whose country they were at that moment. He added 
that the princess was very fond of hunting, and that she 
was now in pursuit of rabbits. 

The king then asked the way to the court, and 
having been told it, hurried off, and reached the capital 
in a couple of hours. 

As soon as he arrived, he presented himself to the 
king and queen, and on mentioning his own name and 
that of his country, was received with open arms. Not 
long after, the princess returned, and hearing that the 
hunt had been very successful, the king complimented 
her on it, but she would not answer a word. 

Her silence rather surprised him, but he was still 
more astonished when he found that she never spoke 
once all through supper-time. Sometimes she seemed 
about to speak, but whenever this was the case her father 
or mother at once took up the conversation. However, 
this silence did not cool the king's affection, and when he 
retired to his rooms at night he confided his feelings to 

Digitized by Microsoft ® 




Digitized by Microsoft ( 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 23 

his faithful equerry. But the equerry was by no means 
delighted at his king's love affair, and took no pains to 
hide his disappointment. 

4 But why are you vexed?' asked the king. 'Surely 
the princess is beautiful enough to please an} T one?' 

4 She is certainly very handsome,' replied the equerry, 
' but to be really happy in love something more than beauty 
is required. To tell the truth, sire,' he added, ' her ex- 
pression seems to me hard.' 

4 That is pride and dignity,' said the king, ' and 
nothing can be more becoming.' 

4 Pride or hardness, as } T ou will,' said the equerry; ' but 
to my mind the choice of so many fierce creatures for her 
amusements seems to tell of a fierce nature, and I also 
think there is something suspicious in the care taken to 
prevent her speaking.' 

The equerry's remarks were full of good sense ; but 
as opposition is onl} T apt to increase love in the hearts of 
men, and especially of kings who hate being contradicted, 
this king begged, the very next day, for the hand of the 
Princess Mutinosa. It was granted him on two condi- 
tions. 

The first was that the wedding should take place the 
very next day; and the second, that he should not speak 
to the princess till she was his wife ; to all of which the 
king agreed, in spite of his equerry's objections, so that 
the first word he heard his bride utter was the ' Yes ' she 
spoke at their marriage. 

Once married, however, she no longer placed any 
check on herself, and her ladies-in-waiting came in for 
plenty of rude speeehes — even the king did not escape 
scolding ; but as lie was a good-tempered man, and very 
much in love, he bore it patiently. A few days after the 
wedding the newly married pair set out for their kingdom 
without leaving many regrets behind. 

The good equerry's fears proved onty too true, as the 
king found out to his cost. The young queen made her- 

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21 AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

self most disagreeable to all her court, her spite and bad 
temper knew no bounds, and before the end of a month 
she was known far and wide as a regular vixen. 

One day, when riding out, she met a poor old woman 
walking along the road, who made a curtsy and was 
going on, when the queen had her stopped, and cried: 
'You are a very impertinent person; don't you know 
that I am the queen? And how dare you not make me a 
deeper curtsy? ' 

' Madam,' said the old woman, ' I have never learnt 
how to measure curtsies ; but I had no wish to fail in 
proper respect.' 

4 What ! ' screamed the queen ; i she dares to answer ! 
Tie her to my horse's tail and 1 '11 just carry her at once 
to the best dancing-master in the town to learn how to 
curtsy.' 

The old woman shrieked for mercy, but the queen 
would not listen, and only mocked when she said she 
was protected by the fairies. At last the poor old 
thing submitted to be tied up, but when the queen urged 
her horse on he never stirred. In vain she spurred him, 
he seemed turned to bronze. At the same moment the 
cord with which the old woman was tied changed into 
wreaths of flowers, and she herself into a tall and stately 
lady. 

Looking disdainfully at the queen, she said, ' Bad 
woman, unworthy of your crown ; I wished to judge for 
myself whether all I heard of 3 t ou was true. I have now 
no doubt of it, and you shall see whether the fairies are to 
be laughed at.' 

So saying the fairy Placida (that was her name) blew 
a little gold whistle, and a chariot appeared drawn by six 
splendid ostriches. In it was seated the fairy queen, 
escorted by a dozen other fairies mounted on dragons. 

All having dismounted, Placida told her adventures, 
and the fairy queen approved all she had done, and 
proposed turning Mutinosa into bronze like her horse. 

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AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 25 

Placida, however, who was very kind and gentle, begged 
for a milder sentence, and at last it was settled that 
Mutinosa should become her slave for life unless she 
should have a child to take her place. 

The king was told of his wife's fate and submitted to 
it, which, as he could do nothing to help it, was the only 
course open to him. 

The fairies then all dispersed, Placida taking her slave 
with her, and on reaching her palace she said : l You 
ought by rights to be scullion, but as you have been 
delicately brought up the change might be too great for 
you. I shall therefore only order you to sweep my rooms 
carefully, and to wash and comb my little dog.' 

Mutinosa felt there was no use in disobeying, so she 
did as she was bid and said nothing. 

After some time she gave birth to a most lovely little 
girl, and when she was well again the fairy gave her 
a good lecture on her past life, made her promise to 
behave better in future, and sent her back to the king, 
ner husband. 

Placid a now gave herself up entirely to the little 
princess who was left in her charge. She anxiously 
thought over which of the fairies she would invite to be 
godmothers, so as to secure the best gift, for her adopted 
child. 

At last she decided on two very kindly and cheerful 
fairies, and asked them to the christening feast. Directly 
it was over the baby was brought to them in a lovely 
crystal cradle hung with red silk curtains embroidered 
with gold. 

The little thing smiled so sweetly at the fairies that 
they decided to do all they could for her. They began 
by naming her Graziella, and then Placida said : 
1 You know, dear sisters, that the commonest form of 
spite or punishment amongst us consists of changing 
beauty to ugliness, cleverness to stupidity, and oftener 
still to change a person's form altogether. Now, as we 

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2<S AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

can only each bestow one gift, I thiuk the best plan 
will be for one of 3*011 to give her beauty, the other good 
understanding, whilst I will undertake that she shall 
never be changed into any other form.' 

The two godmothers quite agreed, and as soon as the 
little princess had received their gifts, they went home, 
and Placida gave herself up to the child's education. 
She succeeded so well with it, and little Graziella grew 
so lovely, that when she was still quite a child her fame 
was spread abroad only too much, and one day Placida 
was surprised by a visit from the Fairy Queen, who was 
attended by a very grave and severe-looking fairy. 

The queen began at once : ' I have been much 
surprised by your behaviour to Mutinosa; she had in- 
sulted our whole race, and deserved punishment. You 
might forgive your own wrongs if you chose, but not those 
of others. You treated her very gently whilst she was 
with you, and I come now to avenge our wrongs on her 
daughter. Y"ou have ensured her being lovely and clever, 
and not subject to change of form, but I shall place her 
in an enchanted prison, which she shall never leave till 
she finds herself in the arms of a lover whom she herself 
loves. It will be my care to prevent anything of the 
kind happening.' 

The enchanted prison was a large high tower in the 
midst of the sea, built of shells of all shapes and 
colours. The lower floor was like a great bathroom, 
where the water was let in or off at will. The first floor 
contained the princess's apartments, beautifully furnished. 
On the second was a library, a large wardrobe-room 
filled with beautiful clothes and every kind of linen, a 
music room, a pantry with bins full of the best wines, and a 
store-room with all manner of preserves, bonbons, pastry 
and cakes, all of which remained as fresh as if just out 
of the oven. 

The top of the tower was laid out like a garden, with 
beds of the loveliest flowers, fine fruit trees, aud shady 

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AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 27 

arbours and shrubs, where many birds sang amongst the 
branches. 

The fairies escorted Graziella and her governess, 
Bonnetta, to the tower, and then mounted a dolphin 
which was waiting for them. At a little distance from 
the tower the queen waved her wand and summoned 
two thousand great fierce sharks, whom she ordered to 
keep close guard, and not to let a soul enter the tower. 

The good governess took such pains with Graziella's 
education that when she was nearly grown up she was 
not only most accomplished, but a very sweet, good girl. 

One day, as the princess was standing on a balcony, 
she saw the most extraordinary figure rise out of the sea. 
She quickly called Bonnetta to ask her what it could be. 
It looked like some kind of man, with a bluish face and 
long sea-green hair. He was swimming towards the 
tower, but the sharks took no notice of him. 

4 It must be a merman,' said Bonnetta. 

'A man, do you say?' cried Graziella; l let us hurry 
down to the door and see him nearer/ 

When they stood in the doorway the merman stopped 
to look at the princess and made many signs of admira- 
tion. His voice was very hoarse and husky, but when he 
found that he was not understood he took to signs. lie 
carried a little basket made of osiers and filled with rare 
shells, which he presented to the princess. 

She took it with signs of thanks ; but as it was 
getting dusk she retired, and the merman plunged back 
into the sea. 

When they were alone, Graziella said to her governess : 
' What a dreadful-looking creature that was ! Why do 
those odious sharks let him come near the tower? I 
suppose all men are not like him?' 

4 No, indeed,' replied Bonnetta. ' I suppose the 
sharks look on him as a sort of relation, and so did not 
attack him.' 

A few days later the two ladies heard a strange sort 

Digitized by Microsoft <E> 



28 AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

of music, and looking out of the window, there was the 
merman, his head crowned with water plants, and blow- 
ing a great sea-shell with all his might. 

They went down to the tower door, and Graziella 
politely accepted some coral and other marine curiosities 
he had brought her. After this he used to come every 
evening, and blow his shell, or dive and play antics under 
the princess's window. She contented herself with 
bowing to him from the balcony, but she, would not go 
down to the door in spite of all his signs. 

Some days later he came with a person of his own 
kind, but of another sex. Her hair was dressed with 
great taste, and she had a lovely voice. This new arrival 
induced the ladies to go down to the door. They were 
surprised to find that, after trying various languages, she 
at last spoke to them in their own, and paid Graziella a 
very pretty compliment on her beauty. 

The mermaid noticed that the lower floor was full of 
water. ' Wh} 7 ,' cried she, i that is just the place for us, for 
we can't live quite out of water.' So saying, she and her 
brother swam in and took up a position in the bathroom, 
the princess and her governess seating themselves on the 
steps which ran round the room. 

' No doubt, madam,' said the mermaid, ' you have 
given up living on land so as to escape from crowds of 
lovers ; but I fear that even here you cannot avoid them, 
for my brother is already dying of love for you, and I 
am sure that once you are seen in our city he will have 
many rivals.' 

She then went on to explain how grieved her brother 
was not to be able to make himself understood, adding: 
' I interpret for him, having been taught several languages 
by a fairy.' 

' Oh, then, you have fairies, too?' asked Graziella, with 
a sigh. 

' Yes, we have,' replied the mermaid ; ' but if I am not 
mistaken you have suffered from the fairies on earth.' 

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AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 



29 



The princess, on this, told her entire history to the 
mermaid, who assured her how sorry she felt for her, but 
bested her not to lose courage; adding, as she took her 




i£oe5^>b]Dle v/tsit^Qra^elfo 



leave : c Perhaps, some day, you may find a wa} T out of 
your difficulties/ 

The princess was delighted with this visit and with 
the hopes the mermaid held out. It was something to 
meet some one fresh to talk to. 

' We will make acquaintance with several of these 

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30 AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

people,' she said to her governess, ' and I dare say they 
are not all as hideous as the first one we saw. Anyhow, 
we shan't be so dreadfully lonely.' 

fc Dear me,,' said Bonnetta, 4 how hopeful young people 
are to be sure! As for me I feel afraid of these folk. 
But what do you think of the lover you have 
captivated? ' 

k Oh, I could never love him,' cried the princess; w I 
can't bear him. But, perhaps, as his sister says they 
are related to the fairy Marina, they may be of some use 
to us.' 

The mermaid often returned, and each time she 
talked of her brother's love, and each time Graziella 
talked of her longing to escape from her prison, till at 
length the mermaid promised to bring the fairy Marina 
to see her, in hopes she might suggest something. 

Next day the fairy came with the mermaid, and the 
princess received her with delight. After a little talk she 
begged Graziella to show her the inside of the tower and 
let her see the garden on the top, for with the help of 
crutches she could manage to move about, and being a 
fairy could live out of water for a long time, provided she 
wetted her forehead now and then. 

Graziella gladly consented, and Bonnetta stayed below 
with the mermaid. 

When they were in the garden the fairy said : ' Let us 
lose no time, but tell me how I can be of use to you/ 
Graziella then told all her story and Marina replied : 
' My dear princess, I can do nothing for you as regards 
dry land, for my power does not reach beyond my own 
element. I can only say that if } T ou will honour my 
cousin by accepting his hand, you could then come and 
live amongst us. I could teach you in a moment to swim 
and dive with the best of us. I can harden your skin 
without spoiling its colour. My cousin is one of the 
best matches in the sea, and I will bestow so many gifts 
on him that you will be quite happy.' 

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AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 31 

The fairy talked so well and so long that the 
princess was rather impressed, and promised to think 
the matter over. 

Just as they were going to leave the garden they saw 
a ship sailing nearer the tower than any other had done 
before. On the deck lay a young man under a splendid 
awning, gazing at the tower through a spy -glass ; but 
before they could see anything clearly the ship moved 
away, and the two ladies parted, the fairy promising to 
return shortly. 

As soon as she was gone Graziella told her governess 
what she had said. Bonnetta was not at all pleased at the 
turn matters were taking, for she did not fancy being 
turned into a mermaid in her old tige. She thought the 
matter well over, and this was what she did. She was a 
very clever artist, and next morning she began to paint 
a picture of a handsome young man, with beautiful curly 
hair, a line complexion, and lovely blue eyes. When it 
was finished she showed it to Graziella, hoping it would 
show her the difference there was between a line young 
man and her marine suitor. 

The princess was much struck by the picture, and 
asked anxiously whether there could be any man so good- 
looking in the world. Bonnetta assured her that there 
were plenty of them ; indeed, many far handsomer. 

4 1 can hardly believe that,' cried the princess; 'but, 
alas! if there are, I don't suppose I shall ever see them 
or they me, so what is the use? Oh, dear, how unhappy 
I am!' 

She spent the rest of the day gazing at the picture, 
which certainly had the effect of spoiling all the merman's 
hopes or prospects. 

After some days, the fairy Marina came back to hear 
what was decided ; but Graziella hardly paid any atten- 
tion to her, and showed such dislike to the idea of the 
proposed marriage that the fairy went off in a regular huff. 

Without knowing it, the princess had made another 

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32 AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

conquest. On hoard the ship which had sailed so near 
was the handsomest prince in the world. lie had heard 
of the enchanted tower, and determined to get as near it 
as he could, lie had strong glasses on hoard, and whilst 
looking through them he saw the princess quite clearly, 
and fell desperately in love with her at once. He wanted 
to steer straight for the tower and to row off to it in a 
small boat, hut his entire crew fell at his feet and begged 
him not to run such a risk. The captain,, too, urged him 
not to attempt it. i You will only lead us all to certain 
death/ he said. *■ Fray anchor nearer land, and J will 
then seek a kind fairy 1 know, who has always been most 
obliging to me, and who will, I am sure, try to help your 
Highness. ' 

The prince rather unwillingly listened to reason. He 
landed at the nearest point, and sent off the captain in all 
haste to beg the fairy's advice and help. Meantime he 
had a tent pitched on the shore, and spent all his time 
gazing at the tower and looking for the princess through 
nis sp} r -glass. 

After a few days the captain came back, bringing the 
fairy with him. The prince was delighted to see her, and 
paid her great attention. c I have heard about this 
matter,' she said ; ' and, to lose no time, I am going to 
send off a trusty pigeon to test the enchantment. If 
there is any weak spot he is sure to find it out and get in. 
I shall bid him bring a flower back as a sign of success, 
and if he does so I quite hope to get you in too.' 

' But,' asked the prince, ' could I not send a line by 
the pigeon to tell the princess of my love? ' 

c Certainly,' replied the fairy, i it would he a very 
good plan.' 

So the prince wrote as follows : — 

' Lovely Princess, — I adore you, and beg you to accept 
my heart, and to believe there is nothing I will not do to 
end your misfortunes. — Blgkdel.' 

This note was tied round the pigeon's neck, and he 

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Ay IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 33 

flew off with it at once. He flew fast till he got near the 
tower, when a fierce wind blew so hard against him that he 
could not get on. lint he was not to be beaten, but flew 
carefully round the top of the tower till he came to one 
spot which, by some mistake, had not been enchanted like 
the rest. lie quickly slipped into the arbour and waited 
for the princess. 

Before long Graziella appeared alone, and the pigeon 
at once fluttered to meet her, and seemed so tame that 
she stopped to caress the pretty creature. As she did so 
she saw it had a pink ribbon round its neck, and tied to 
the ribbon was a letter. She read it over several times 
and then wrote this answer : — 

4 You say you love me ; but I cannot promise to love 
you without seeing you. Send me your portrait by this 
faithful messenger. If I return it to you, you must give 
up hope ; but if I keep it you will know that to help me 
will be to help yourself. — Graziella.' 

Before flying back the pigeon remembered about the 
flower, so, seeing one in the princess's dress, he stole it 
and flew away. 

The prince was wild with joy at the pigeon's return 
with the note. After an hour's rest the trusty little bird 
was sent back again, carrying a miniature of the prince, 
which by good luck he had with him. 

On reaching the tower the pigeon found the princess 
in the garden. She hastened to untie the ribbon, and on 
opening the miniature case what was her surprise and 
delight to find it very like the picture her governess had 
painted for her. She hastened to send the pigeon back, 
and you can fancy the prince's joy when he found she 
had kept his portrait. 

' Now,' said the fairy, 4 let us lose no more time. I 
can only make you happy by changing you into a bird, 
but I will take care to give } T ou back your proper shape 
at the right time/ 

The prince was eager to start, so the fairy, touching 

Dfyitizegf by Microsoft W 



3-1 AX IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT 

him with her wand, turned him into the loveliest hum- 
ming-bird you ever saw, at the same time letting hi m 
keep the power of speech. The pigeon was told to show 
him the way. 

Graziella was much surprised to see a perfectly 
strange bird, and still more so when it Hew to her saying, 
i Good-morning, sweet princess.' 

She was delighted with the pretty creature, and let 
him perch on her finger, Avhen he said, ' Kiss, kiss, little 
birdie,' which she gladly did, petting and stroking him at 
the same time. 

After a time the princess, who had been up very early, 
grew tired, and as the sun was hot she went to lie down 
on a mossy bank in the shade of the arbour. She held 
the pretty bird near her breast, and was just falling 
asleep, when the fairy contrived to restore the prince to 
his own shape, so that as Graziella opened her eyes she 
found herself in the arms of a lover whom she loved in 
return ! 

At the same moment her enchantment came to an 
end. The tower began to rock and to split. Bonnetta 
hurried up to the top so that she might at least perish 
with her dear princess. Just as she reached the garden, 
the kind fairy who had helped the prince arrived with 
the fairy Placida, in a car of Venetian glass drawn by six 
eagles. 

' Come away quickly,' they cried, « the tower is about 
to sink ! ' The prince, princess, and Bonnetta lost no 
time in stepping into the car, which rose in the air 
just as, with a terrible crash, the tower sank into 
the depths of the sea, for the fairy Marina and the 
mermen had destroyed its foundations to avenge them- 
selves on Graziella. Luckily their wicked plans were 
defeated, and the good fairies took their way to the 
kingdom of Graziella's parents. 

They found that Queen Mutinosa had died some 
years ago, but her kind husband lived on peaceably, 

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Digitized by Microsoft ( 



AN IMPOSSIBLE EXCIIANTMENT 37 

ruling his country well and happily. He received his 
daughter with great delight, and there were universal 
rejoicings at the return of the lovely princess. 

The wedding took place the very next day, and, for 
many days after, balls, dinners, tournaments, concerts and 
all sorts of amusements went on all day and all night 

All the fairies were carefully invited, and they came 
in great state, and promised the young couple their pro- 
tection and all sorts of good gifts. Prince Blondel and 
Princess Graziella lived to a good old age, beloved by 
every one, and loving each other more and more as time 
went on. 



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38 



TEE STORY OF 
DSCHEMIL AND DSCHEMILA 

There was once a man whose name was Dschemil, and 
he had a cousin who was called Dschemila. They had 
been betrothed by their parents when they were children, 
and now Dschemil thought that the time had come for 
them to be married, and he went two or three days' 
journey, to the nearest big town, to buy furniture for the 
new house. 

While he was away, Dschemila and her friends set 
off to the neighbouring woods to pick up sticks, and as 
she gathered them she found an iron mortar lying on 
the ground. She placed it on her bundle of sticks, but the 
mortar would not stay still, and whenever she raised the 
bundle to put it on her shoulders it slipped off sideways. 
At length she saw the only way to carry the mortar was 
to tie it in the very middle of her bundle, and had just 
unfastened her sticks, when she heard her companions' 
voices. 

' Dschemila, what are you doing? it is almost dark, and 
if you mean to come with us you must be quick ! ' 

But Dschemila only replied, ' You had better go back 
without me, for I am not going to leave my mortar behind, 
if I stay here till midnight. ' 

' Do as you like,' said the girls, and started on their 
walk home. 

The night soon fell, and at the last ray of light the 
mortar suddenly became an ogre, who threw Dschemila on 
his back, and carried her off into a desert place, distant a 

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DSCIIEMIL AND DSCHEMILA 39 

whole month's journey from her native town. Here he 
shut her into a castle, and told her not to fear, as her 
life was safe. Then he went back to his wife, leaving 
Dschemila weeping over the fate that she had brought 
upon herself. 

Meanwhile the other girls had reached home, and 
Dschemila's mother came out to look for her daughter. 

4 What have you done with her ? ' she asked 
anxiously. 

4 We had to leave her in the wood,' they replied, ' for 
she had picked up an iron mortar, and could not manage 
to cany it.' 

So the old woman set off at once for the forest, calling 
to her daughter as she hurried along. 

' Do go home/ cried the townspeople, as they heard 
her ; ; we will go and look for your daughter ; you are 
only a woman, and it is a task that needs strong men.' 

Jmt she answered, ' Yes, go ; but I will go with you ! 
Perhaps it will be only her corpse that we shall find after 
all. She has most likely been stung by asps, or eaten by 
wild beasts.' 

The men, seeing her heart was bent on it, said no 
more, but told one of the girls she must come with them, 
and show them the place where they had left Dschemila. 
They found the bundle of wood lying where she had 
dropped it, but the maiden was nowhere to be seen. 

'Dschemila! Dschemila!' cried the\ T ; but nobody 
answered. 

' If we make a fire, perhaps she will see it,' siiid one of 
the men. And they lit a fire, and then went, one this 
way, and one that, through the forest, to look for her, 
whispering to each other that if she had been killed by a 
lion they would be sure to find some trace of it; or if 
she had fallen asleep, the sound of their voices would 
wake her ; or if a snake had bitten her, they would at least 
come on her corpse. 

All night they searched, and when morning broke and 

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40 THE STORY OF 

they knew no more than before what had become of the 
maiden, they grew weary, and said to the mother: 

' It is no use. Let us go home, nothing has happened 
to your daughter, except that she has run away with a 
man.' 

'Yes, I will come,' answered she, 'but I must first 
look in the river. Perhaps some one has thrown her in 
there.' But the maiden was not in the river. 

For four days the father and mother waited and 
watched for their child to come back ; then they gave up 
hope, and said to each other: ' Wbat is to be done? 
What are we to say to the man to whom Dschemila is 
betrothed? Let us kill a goat, and bury its head in the 
grave, and when the man returns we must tell him 
Dschemila is dead.' 

Very soon the bridegroom came back, bringing with 
him carpets and soft cushions for the house of his bride. 
And as he entered the town Dschemila' s father met him, 
saying, 'Greeting to you. She is dead.' 

At these words the young man broke into loud cries, 
and it was some time before he could speak. Then he 
turned to one of the crowd who had gathered round him, 
and asked : ' A V" here have they buried her? ' 

'Come to the churchyard with me,' answered he; 
and the young man went with him, carrying with him 
some of the beautiful things he had brought. These he 
laid on the grass and then began to weep afresh. All day 
lie stayed, and at nightfall he gathered up his stuffs and 
carried them to his own house. ]>ut when the day 
dawned he took them in his arms and returned to the 
grave, where he remained as long as it was light, playing 
softly on his flute. And this he did daily for six months. 

One morning, a man who was wandering through the 
desert, having lost his way, came upon a lonely castle. 
The sun was very hot, and the man was very tired, so he 
said to himself, ' I will rest a little in the shadow of this 

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DSCIIEMIL AXD DSCIIEMILA 41 

castle.' He stretched himself out comfortably, and was 
almost asleep, when he heard a voice calling to him 
softly : 

' Are you a ghost,' it said, ' or a man? ' 

lie looked up, and saw a girl leaning out of a window, 
and he answered : 

' I am a man, and a better one, too, than your father 
or your grandfather.' 

k May all good luck be with you,' said she ; ; but what 
has brought you into this land of ogres and horrors? ' 

4 Does an ogre really live in this castle?' asked he. 

'Certainly he does,' replied the girl, ' and as night is 
not far off he will be here soon. So, dear friend, depart 
quickly, lest he return and snap you up for supper. 5 

i But I am so thirsty ! ' said the man. ' Be kind, and 
give me some drink, or else I shall die ! Surely, even in 
this desert there must be some spring? ' 

6 Well, I have noticed that whenever the ogre brings 
back water he always comes from that side ; so if you 
follow the same direction perhaps you may find some.' 

The man jumped up at once and was about to start, 
when the maiden spoke again : 

4 Tell me, where you are going? ' 

c Why do you want to know? ' 

' I have an errand for you ; but tell me first whether 
you go east or west.' 

' I travel to Damascus.' 

; Then do this for me. As you pass through our 
village, ask for a man called Dschemil, and say to him : 
" Dschemila greets you, from the castle, which lies far 
away, and is rocked by the wind. In my grave lies only a 
goat. So take heart." ' 

And the man promised, and went his way, till he 
came to a spring of water. And he drank a great draught 
and then lay on the bank and slept quietly. When he 
woke he said to himself, ' The maiden did a good deed 
when she told me where to find water. A few hours 

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42 THE STORY OF 

more, and I should have been dead. So I will do her 
bidding, and seek out her native town and the man for 
whom the message was given.' 

For a whole month he travelled, till at last he reached 
the town where Dschemil dwelt, and as luck would have 
it, there was the young man sitting before his door with 
his beard unshaven and his shaggy hair hanging over his 
eyes. 

4 Welcome, stranger/ said Dschemil, as the man 
stopped. 4 Where have you come from?' 

4 1 come from the west, and go towards the east,' he 
answered. 

4 Well, stop with us awhile, and rest and eat! ' said 
Dschemil. And the man entered ; and food was set before 
him, and he sat down with the father of the maiden and 
her brothers, and Dschemil. Only Dschemil himself was 
absent, squatting on the threshold. 

4 Why do you not eat too? ' asked the stranger. But 
one of the young men whispered hastily: 

* Leave him alone. Take no notice! It is only at 
night that he ever eats/ 

So the stranger went on silently with his food. 
Suddenly one of Dschemil's brothers called out and said: 
4 Dschemil, bring us some water ! ' And the stranger 
remembered his message and said : 

4 Is there a man here named 44 Dschemil" ? I lost 
my way in the desert, and came to a castle, and a maiden 
looked out of the window and ' 

4 Be quiet,' they cried, fearing that Dschemil might 
hear. But Dschemil had heard, and came forward and 
said : 

4 What did you see? Tell me truly, or I will cut off 
your head this instant! ' 

4 My lord,' replied the stranger, 'as I was wandering, 
hot and tired, through the desert, I saw near me a great 
castle, and 1 said aloud, 4t I will rest a little in its 
shadow/' And a maiden looked out of a window and 

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DS CHE MIL AND DS CHE MIL A 43 

said, " Are you a ghost or a man? " And I answered. iS I 
am a man, and abetter one, too, than your father or your 
grandfather." And I was thirsty and asked for water, but 
she had none to give me, and I felt like to die. Then she 
told me that the ogre, in whose castle she dwelt, brought 
in water always from the same side, and that if I too went 
that way most likely I should come to it. But before I 
started she begged me to go to her native town, and if 1 
met a man called Dschemil I was to say to him, " Dsehe- 
mila greets you, from the castle which lies far away, and 
is rocked by the wind. In my grave lies only a goat. S^ 
take heart."' 

Then Dschemil turned to his family and said: 

4 Is this true? and is Dschemila not dead at all, but 
simply stolen from her home?' 

'No, no,' replied they, 'his story is a pack of lies* 
Dschemila is really dead. Everybody knows it.' 

4 That I shall see for myself,' said Dschemil, and, 
snatching up a spade, hastened off to the grave where the 
goat's head lay buried. 

And they answered, ' Then hear what really happened. 
When you were away, she went with the other maidens 
to the forest to gather wood. And there she found an 
iron mortar, which she wished to bring home ; but she 
could not carry it, neither would she leave it. So the 
maidens returned without her, and as night was come, we 
all set out to look for her, but found nothing. And we 
said, u The bridegroom will be here to-morrow, and when 
he learns that she is lost, he will set out to seek her, and 
we shall lose him too. Let us kill a goat, and bury it in 
her grave, and tell him she is dead." Now you know, so 
do as you will. Only, if you go to seek her, take with you 
this man with whom she has spoken that he may show 
you the way.' 

' Yes ; that is the best plan,' replied Dschemil ; ' so give 
me food, and hand me my sword, and we will set out 
directly.* 

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44 THE STORY OF 

But the stranger answered: 4 I am not going to 
waste a whole month in leading you to the castle ! If it 
were only a day or two's journey I would not mind ; but 
a month — no ! f 

' Come with me then for three days,' said Dschemil, 
i and put me in the right road, and I will reward you richly.' 

4 Very well/ replied the stranger, ' so let it be.' 

For three days they travelled from sunrise to sunset, 
then the stranger said : ' Dschemil? ' 

1 Yes,' replied he. 

4 Uo straight on till you reach a spring, then go on a 
little farther, and soon you will see the castle standing 
before you.' 

' So I will,' said Dschemil. 

4 Farewell, then,' said the stranger, and turned back 
the way he had come. 

It was six and twenty days before Dschemil caught 
sight of a green spot rising out of the sandy desert, and 
knew that the spring was near at last. He hastened his 
steps, and soon was kneeling by its side, drinking thirstily 
of the bubbling water. Then he lay down on the cool 
grass, and began to think. c If the man was right, the 
castle must be somewhere about. I had better sleep here 
to-night, and to-morrow I shall be able to see where it is.' 
So he slept long and peacefully. When he awoke the 
sun was high, and he jumped up and washed his face and 
hands in the spring, before going on his journey. He had 
not walked far, when the castle suddenly appeared before 
him, though a moment before not a trace of it could be 
seen. ' How am 1 to get in?' he thought. ' I dare not 
knock, lest the ogre should hear me. Perhaps it would 
be best for me to climb up the wall, and wait to see what 
will happen.' So he did, and after sitting on the top for 
about an hour, a window above him opened, and a voice 
said : ' Dschemil ! ' He looked up, and at the sight of 
Dschemila, whom he had so long believed to be dead, he 
began to weep. 

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DSCHEMIL AND DSCHEMIL A 45 

'Dear cousin/ she whispered, ' what has brought you 
here?' 

4 My grief at losing you.' 

c Oh ! go away at once. If the ogre comes back he 
will kill you.' 

' I swear by your head, queen of my heart, that I have 
not found you only to lose you again! If 1 must die, 
well, I must! ' 

4 Oh, what can I do for you ? ' 

4 Anything you like ! ' 

4 If I let you down a cord, can you make it fast under 
your arms, and climb up?' 

4 Of course I can,' said he. 

So Dschemila lowered the cord, and Dschemil tied it 
round him, and climbed up to her window. Then they 
embraced each other tenderly, and burst into tears of 

joy- 

4 But what shall I do when the ogre returns?' asked 
she. 

4 Trust to me,' he said. 

Now there was a chest iu the room, where Dschemila 
kept her clothes. And she made Dschemil get into it, 
and lie at the bottom, and told him to keep very still. 

He was only hidden just in time, for the lid was 
hardly closed when the ogre's heavy tread was heard on 
the stairs. He flung open the door, bringing men's flesh 
for himself and lamb's flesh for the maiden. 4 1 smell 
the smell of a man ! ' he thundered. 4 What is he doing 
here?' 

4 How could any one have come to this desert place? ' 
asked the girl, and burst into tears. 

4 Do not cry,' said the ogre; 4 perhaps a raven has 
dropped some scraps from his claws.' 

4 Ah, yes, I was forgetting,' answered she. c One did 
drop some bones about.' 

4 Well, burn them to powder,' replied the ogre, 'so 
that I may swallow it.* 

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46 DSCIIE3IIL AND DSC HE MIL A 

So the maiden took some bones and burned them, 
and gave them to the ogre, saying, k Here is the powder, 
swallow it.' 

And when he had swallowed the powder the ogre 
stretched himself out and went to sleep. 

in a little while .the man's flesh, which the maiden was 
cooking for the ogre's supper, called out and said : 

'Hist! Hist! 

A man lies in the kist! ' 

And the lamb's flesh answered : 

'He is your brother, 
And cousin of the other.* 

The ogre moved sleepily, and asked, ' What did the 
meat say, Dschemila? ' 

4 Only that T must be sure to add salt/ 

'Well, add salt/ 

'Yes, I have done so,' said she. 

The ogre was soon sound asleep again, when the 
man's flesh called out a second time: 

'Hist! Hist! 
A man lies in the kist! ' 

And the lamb's flesh answered : 

4 He is your brother, 
And cousin of the other/ 

' What did it say, Dschemila? ' asked the ogre. 

' Only that I must add pepper/ 

1 Well, add pepper/ 

' Yes, I have done so/ said she. 

The ogre had had a long day's hunting, and could not 
keep himself awake. In a moment his eyes were tight 
shut, and then the man's flesh called out for the third 
time: 

'Hist! Hist! 
A man lies in the kist/ 

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jy- j gf gg ^L 




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DS CHE MIL AXD DSOHEMILA 49 

And the lamb's flesh answered: 

k lie is your brother, 
And cousin of the other.' 

4 What did it say, Dsehemila? ' asked the ogre. 

4 Only that it was ready, and that I had better take it 
off the fire.' 

'Then if it is ready, bring it to me, and I will eat 
it.' 

So she brought it to him, and while he was eating she 
supped of the lamb's flesh herself, and managed to put 
some aside for her cousin. 

When the ogre had finished, and had washed his 
hands, he said to Dsehemila : 4 Make my bed, for I am 
tired.' 

So she made his bed, and put a nice soft pillow for his 
head, and tucked him up. 

4 Father,' she said suddenly. 

4 Well, what is it?' 

4 Dear father, if you are really asleep, why are your 
eyes always open ? ' 

* Why do you ask that, Dsehemila? Do you want to 
deal treacherously with me? ' 

4 No, of course not, father. How could T, and what 
would be the use of it? ' 

4 Well, why do you want to know?' 

4 Because last night I woke up and saw the whole 
place shining in a red light, which frightened me.' 

4 That happens when I am fast asleep.' 

4 And what is the good of the pin you always keep 
here so carefully? ' 

4 If T throw that pin in front of me, it turns into an iron 
mountain.' 

4 And this darning needle?' 

4 That becomes a sea.' 

4 And this hatchet? ' 

* That becomes a thorn hedge, which no one can pass 

4 

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50 TUB STORY OF 

through. But wl)3 T do 3-011 ask all these questions? I am 
sure you have something in your head.' 

4 Oh, 1 just wanted to know; and how could anyone 
find me out here? ' and she began to cry. 

4 Oh, don't ery, I was only in fun/ said the ogre. 

He was soon asleep again, and a yellow light shone 
through the castle. 

4 Come quick! ' called Dschemil from the chest; ; we 
must fly now while the ogre is asleep/ 

' Not yet/ she said, ' there is a yellow light shining. 
I don't think he is asleep.' 

So they waited for an hour. Then Dschemil whispered 
again : ' Wake up! There is no time to lose !* 

4 Let me see if he is asleep,' said she, and she peeped 
in, and saw a red light shining. Then she stole back to 
her cousin, and asked, ' But how are we to get out? ' 

4 Get the rope, and I will let you down.' 

So she fetched the rope, the hatchet, and the pin 
and the needles, and said, ' Take them, and put them 
in the pocket of your cloak, and be sure not to lose 
them.' 

Dschemil put them carefully in his pocket, and tied 
the rope round her, and let her down over the wall. 

4 Are you safe?' he asked. 

4 Yes, quite.* 

4 Then untie the rope, so that I may draw it up/ 

And Dschemila did as she was told, and in a few 
minutes he stood beside her. 

Now all this time the ogre was asleep, and had heard 
nothing. Then his dog came to him and said, 4 0, sleeper, 
are you having pleasant dreams? Dschemila has for- 
saken you and run away.' 

The ogre got out of bed, gave the dog a kick, then 
went back again, and .slept till morning. 

When it grew light, he rose, and called, 4 Dschemila! 
Dschemila! ' but he only heard the echo of his own voice ! 
Then he dressed himself quickly ; buckled on his sword 

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DSCIIEMJL AND DSCIIEMTLA 



51 



and whistled to his dog, and followed the road which he 
knew the fugitives must have taken. 

' Cousin,' said Dschemila suddenly, and turning round 
as she spoke. 




4 What is it?' answered he. 

' The ogre is eonring after us. I saw him.' 

' But where is he? I don't see him.' 

4 Over there. ITe only looks about as tall as a needle.' 

Then they both began to run as fast as they could, 

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52 THE STORY OF 

while the ogre and bis dog kept drawing always nearer. 
A few more steps, and he would have been by their side, 
when Dschemila threw the darning needle behind her. 
In a moment it became an iron mountain between them 
and their enemy. 

' We will break it down, my dog and I,' cried the ogre 
in a rage, and they dashed at the mountain till they had 
forced a path through, and came ever nearer and nearer. 

1 Cousin ! ' said Dschemila suddenly. 

' What is it?' 

' The ogre is coming after us with his dog.' 

'You go on in front then,' answered he; and they 
both ran on as fast as they could, while the ogre and the 
dog drew always nearer and nearer. 

' They are close upon us! ' cried the maiden, glancing 
behind, ' 3^011 must throw the pin.' 

So Dschemil took the pin from his cloak and threw it 
behind him, and a dense thicket of thorns sprang up 
round them, which the ogre and his dog could not pass 
through. 

' I will get through it somehow, if I burrow under- 
ground,' cried he, and very soon he and the dog were on 
the other side. 

'Cousin,' said Dschemila, 'they are close to us 
now.' 

' Go on in front, and fear nothing,' replied Dschemil. 

So she ran on a little way, and then stopped. 

4 lie is only a few yards away now,' she said, and 
Dschemil flung the hatchet on the ground, and it turned 
kito a lake. 

< I will drink, and my dog shall drink, till it is dry,' 
Bhrieked the ogre, and the dog drank so much that it 
burst and died. But the ogre did not stop for that, and 
soon the whole lake was nearly dry. Then he exclaimed, 
* Dschemila, let your head become a donkey's head, and 
your hair fur ! * 

But w T hen it was done, Dschemil looked at her in 

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J) S CUE MIL AXD DS CUE MIL A 53 

horror, and said, c She is really a donkey, and not a 
woman at all ! ' 

And he left her, and went home. 

For two days poor Dschemila wandered about alone, 
weeping bitterly. When her cousin drew near his native 
town, he began to think over his conduct, and to feel 
ashamed of himself. 

6 Perhaps by this time she has changed back to her 
proper shape/ he said to himself, ' I will go and see ! ' 

So he made all the haste he could, and at last he 
saw her seated on a rock, trying to keep off the wolves, 
who longed to have her for dinner. lie drove them off 
and said, ' Get up, dear cousin, you have had a narrow 
escape.' 

Dschemila stood up and answered, 'Bravo, m} T friend. 
You persuaded me to fly with you, and then left me help- 
lessly to my fate/ 

' Shall I tell you the truth?' asked he. 

'Tell it.' 

' I thought you were a witch, and I was afraid of 
you.' 

'Did you not see me before my transformation? and 
did you not watch it happen under your very eyes, when 
the ogre bewitched me ? ' 

'What shall I do?' said Dschemil. 'If I take you 
into the town, everyone will laugh, and say, "Is that a 
new kind of toy you have got? It has hands like a 
woman, feet like a woman, the body of a woman ; but its 
head is the head of an ass, and its hair is fur.'" 

'Well, what do you mean to do with me?' asked 
Dschemila. ' Better take me home to my mother by 
night, and tell no one anything about it.' 

' So I will,' said he. 

They waited where they were till it was nearly dark, 
then Dschemil brought his cousin home. 

'Is that Dschemil?' asked the mother when he 
knocked softly. 

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54 THE STORY OF 

'Yes, it is.' 

4 And have you found her? ' 

4 Yes, and I have brought her to you.' 

4 Oh, where is she? let me see her ! ' cried the mother. 

4 Here, behind me,' answered Dschemil. 

But when the poor woman caught sight of her 
daughter, she shrieked, and exclaimed, ' Are you making 
fun of me? AVhen did I ever give birth to an ass?' 

4 Hush ! ' said Dschemil, 4 it is not necessary to let 
the whole world know! And if you look at her body, 
you will see two scars on it.' 

4 Mother,' sobbed Dschemila, ' do you really not know 
your own daughter? ' 

fc Yes, of course I know her.' 

4 What are her two scars then ? ' 

4 On her thigh is a scar from the bite of a dog, and on 
her breast is the mark of a burn, where she pulled a 
lamp over her when she was little.' 

4 Then look at me, and see if I am not your daughter,' 
said Dschemila, throwing off her clothes and showing her 
two sears. 

And at the sight her mother embraced her, weeping. 

4 Dear daughter,' she cried, 4 what evil fate has 
befallen you ? * 

4 It was the ogre who carried me off first, and then 
bewitched me,' answered Dschemila. 

4 But what is to be done with you?' asked her 
mother. 

' Hide me away, and tell no one anything about me. 
And you, dear cousin, say nothing to the neighbours, 
and if they should put questions, you can make answer 
that I have not yet been found.' 

' So I will,' replied he. 

Then he and her mother took her upstairs and hid her 
in a cupboard, where she stayed for a whole month, only 
going out to walk when all the world was asleep. 

Meanwhile Dschemil had returned to his own home, 

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DSCIIEMIL AXD DSCIIEMILA 55 

where his father and mother, his brothers and neighbours, 
greeted him joyfully. 

4 When did you come back?' said they, 'and have 
you found Dscheinila?' 

' No, I searched the whole world after her, and could 
hear nothing of her/ 

' Did 3'ou part company with the man who started 
with you?' 

' Yes ; after three days he got so weak and useless he 
could not go on. It must be a month by now since he 
reached home again. I went on and visited every 
castle, and looked in every house. But there were no 
signs of her ; and so I gave it up.' 

And they answered him : ' We told you before that it 
was no good. An ogre or an ogress must have snapped 
her up, and how can you expect to find her?' 

1 1 loved her too much to be still,' he said. 

But his friends did not understand, and soon they 
spoke to him again about it. 

; We will seek for a wife for you. There are plenty 
of girls prettier than Dschemila.' 

4 1 dare say; but I don't want them.' 

c But what will you do with all the cushions and 
carpets, and beautiful things you bought for your house? ' 

c They can sta}' in the chests.' 

' But the moths will eat them ! For a few weeks, it 
is of no consequence, but after a year or two they will be 
quite useless.' 

' And if they have to lie there ten years I will have 
Dschemiln, and her only, for my wife. For a month, or 
even two months, I will rest here quietly. Then I will 
go and seek her afresh.' 

i Oh, you are quite mad! Is she the only maiden 
in the world ? There are plenty of others better worth 
having than she is.' 

* If there are I have not seen them ! Aud why do 

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5G DSCHEMIL AND DSCHEMIL A 

you make all this fuss? Every man knows his own 
business best.' 

' Why, it is you who are making all the fuss your- 
self ' 

But Dschemil turned and went into the house, for he 
did not want to quarrel. 

Three months later a Jew, who was travelling across 
the desert, came to the castle, and laid himself down 
under the wall to rest. 

In the evening the ogre saw him there and said to 
him, 'Jew, what are you doing here? Have you anything 
to sell?' 

'I have only some clothes/ answered the Jew, who 
was in mortal terror of the ogre. 

4 Oh, don't be afraid of me,' said the ogre, laughing. 
' I shall not eat you. Indeed, I mean to go a bit of the 
way with you myself.' 

6 1 am ready, gracious sir/ replied the Jew, rising to his 
feet. 

' Well, go straight on till you reach a town, and in 
that town you will find a maiden called Dschemila and a 
young man called Dschemil. Take this mirror and this 
comb with yon, and say to Dschemila, " Your father, the 
ogre, greets you, and begs you to look at your face in this 
mirror, and it will appear as it was before, and to com!) 
your hair with this comb, and it will be as formerly." If 
you do not carry out my orders, I will eat you the next 
time we meet.' 

1 Oh, 1 will obey you punctually/ cried the Jew. 

After thirty days the Jew entered the gate of the town, 
and sat down in the first street he came to, hungry, thirsty, 
and very tired. 

Quite by chance, Dschemil happened to pass by, and 
seeing a man sitting there, full in the glare of the sun, lie 
stopped, and said, ' Get up at once, Jew; you will have a 
sunstroke if you sit in such a place.' 

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Jiifiit n P p n n n n n 



M.3>&CHEriiiA GETSKiD or toe: asjsVs head L 



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DSCIIEMIL AND DSCIIEMILA 59 

6 Ah, good sir,' replied the Jew, ' for a whole month I 
have been travelling, and I am too tired to move.' 

' Which way did you come?' asked Dschemil. 

' From out there,' answered the Jew, pointing behind 
him. 

' And you have been travelling for a month, } t ou say? 
Well, did you see anything remarkable? ' 

'Yes, good sir; I saw a castle, and lay down to rest 
under its shadow. And an ogre woke me, and told me to 
come to this town, where I should find a young man 
called Dschemil, and a girl called Dschemila.' 

']\]y name is DschemiL What does the ogre want 
with me? ' 

' lie gave me some presents for Dschemila. How can 
I see her?' 

' Come with me, and you shall give them into her own 
hands.' 

So the two went together to the house of Dschemil's 
uncle, and Dschemil led the Jew into his aunt's room. 

'Aunt!' he cried, 'this Jew who is with me has 
come from the ogre, and has brought with him, as pre- 
sents, a mirror and a comb which the ogre has sent 
her.' 

' But it may be only some wicked trick on the part of 
the ogre,' said she. 

' Oh, I don't think so,' answered the young man, 'give 
her the things.' 

Then the maiden was called, and she came out. of her 
hiding place, and went up to the Jew, saying, ' Where 
have you come from, Jew? ' 

' From your father the ogre.' 

' And what errand did he send you on? ' 

' He told me I was to give you this mirror and this 
comb, and to say " Look in this mirror, and comb your 
hair with this comb, and both will become as they were 
formerly." ' 

And Dschemila took the mirror and looked into it, 

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60 DSCIIEMIL AND DSCHEMILA 

and combed her hair with the comb, and she had no 
longer an ass's head, but the face of a beautiful maiden. 

Great was the joy of both mother and cousin at this 
wonderful sight, and the news that Dschemila had 
returned soon spread, and the neighbours came flocking 
in with greetings. 

4 "When did you come back? ' 

'My cousin brought me.' 

' Why, he told us he could not find you ! ' 

4 Ob, I did that on purpose,' answered Dschemil. 4 1 
did not want everyone to know.' 

Then he turned to his father and his mother, his 
brothers and his sisters-in-law, and said, 4 We must set to 
work at once, for the wedding will be to-day.' 

A beautiful litter was prepared to carry the bride to 
her new home, but she shrank back, saying, ' I am afraid, 
lest the ogre should carry me off again.' 

' How can the ogre get at you when we are all here ? ' 
they said. 4 There are two thousand of us all told, and 
every man has his sword.' 

4 He will manage it somehow,' answered Dschemila, 
4 he is a powerful king ! ' 

' She is right,' said an old man. ' Take away the litter, 
and let her go on foot if she is afraid.' 

4 But it is absurd ! ' exclaimed the rest ; ' how can the 
ogre get hold of her? ' 

4 1 will not go,' said Dschemila again. k You do not 
know that monster ; I do.' 

And while they were disputing the bridegroom 
arrived. 

4 Let her alone. She shall stay in her father's house. 
After all, I can live here, and the wedding feast shall be 
made ready.' 

And so they were married at last, and died without 
having had a single quarrel. 

[ilarcheu uud Gedichte aus der Stadt Tripolis.] 

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61 



JANNI AND THE DRAKEN 

Once there was a man who shunned the world, and lived 
in the wilderness. He owned nothing but a flock of sheep, 
whose milk and wool he sold, and so procured himself 
bread to eat; he also carried wooden spoons, and sold 
them, lie had a wife and one little girl, and after a long- 
time his wife had another child. The evening it was 
born the man went to the nearest village to fetch a nurse, 
and on the way he met a monk who begged him for a 
night's lodging. This the man willingly granted, and took 
him home with him. There being no one far nor near 
to baptize the child, the man asked the monk to do 
him this service, and the child was given the name of 
Janni. 

In the course of time Jamil's parents died, and he 
and his sister were left alone in the world; soon affairs 
went badly with them, so they determined to wander 
away to seek their fortune. In packing up, the sister 
found a knife which the monk had left for his godson, 
and this she gave to her brother. 

Then they went on their way, taking with them the 
three sheep which were all that remained of their flocks. 
After wandering for three days they met a man with 
three dogs who proposed that they should exchange 
animals, he taking the sheep, and the} 7 the dogs. 
The brother and sister were quite pleased at this arrange- 
ment, and after the exchange was made they separated, 
and went their different ways. 

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62 JANNI AND THE DRAKEN 

Janni and his sister in course of time came to a great 
castle, in which dwelt forty Draken, who, when they 
heard that Janni had come, lied forty fathoms under- 
ground. 

So Janni found the castle deserted, and abode there 
with his sister, and every day went out to hunt with 
the weapons the Draken had left in the castle. 

One day, when he was away hunting, one of the 
Draken came up to get provisions, not knowing that 
there was anyone in the castle. When he saw Janni's 
sister he was terrified, but she told \\\m. not to be afraid, 
and by-and-by they fell in love with each other, for 
every time that Janni went to hunt the sister called 
the Drakos up. Thus they went on making love to each 
other till at length, unknown to Janni, they got married. 
Then, when it was too late, the sister repented, and was 
afraid of Janni's wrath when he found it out. 

One day the Drakos came to her, and said: 'You 
must pretend to be ill, and when Janni asks what ails 
you, and what you want, you must answer: " Cherries," 
and when he inquires where these are to be found, you 
must say: " There are some in a garden a day's journey 
from here." Then your brother will go there, and will 
never come back, for there dwell three of my brothers 
who will look after him well.' 

Then the sister did as the Drakos advised, and next 
day Janni set out to fetch the cherries, taking his three 
dogs with him When he came to the garden where the 
cherries grew he jumped off his horse, drank some water 
from the spring, which rose there, and fell directly into a 
deep sleep. The Draken came round about to eat him, 
but the dogs flung themselves on them and tore them 
in pieces, and scratched a grave in the ground with their 
paws, and buried the Draken so that Janni might not see 
their dead bodies. When Janni awoke, and saw his dogs 
all covered with blood, he believed that they had caught, 
somewhere, a wild beast, and was angry because they 

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JANNI AND THE DRAKEN 03 

had left none of it for him. Bat he plucked the cherries, 
and took them back to his sister. 

When the Drakos heard that Janni had come back, 
he fled for fear forty fathoms underground. And the 
sister ate the cherries and declared herself well again. 

The next day, when Janni was gone to hunt, the 
Drakos came out, and advised the sister that she should 
pretend to be ill again, and when her brother asked her 
what she would like, she should answer 'Quinces,' and 
when he inquired where these were to be found, she 
should say : ' In a garden distant about two days' journey.' 
Then would Janni certainly be destroyed, for there dwelt 
six brothers of the Drakos, each of whom had two heads. 

The sister did as she was advised, and next day Janni 
again set off, taking his three dogs with him. When he 
came to the garden he dismounted, sat down to rest a 
little, and fell fast asleep. First there came three Draken 
round about to eat him, and when these three had been 
worried by the dogs, there came three others who were 
worried in like manner. Then the dogs again dug a 
grave and buried the dead Draken, that their master 
might not see them. When Janni awoke and beheld the 
dogs all covered with blood, he thought, as before, that 
the} T had killed a wild beast, and was again angry with 
them for leaving him nothing. But he took the quinces 
and brought them back to his sister, who, when she had 
eaten them, declared herself better. The Drakos, when 
he heard that Janni had come back, fled for fear forty 
fathoms deeper underground. 

Next day, when Janni was hunting, the Drakos went 
to the sister and advised that she should again pretend 
to be ill, and should beg for some pears, which grew in 
a garden three days' journey from the castle. From 
this quest Janni would certainly never return, for there 
dwelt nine brothers of the Drakos, each of whom had 
three heads. 

The sister did as she was told, and next day Janni, 
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04 JANNI AND THE DRAKEN 

taking his three dogs with him, went to get the pears. 
When he came to the garden he laid himself down to rest, 
and soon fell asleep. 

Then first came three Draken to eat him, and when 
the dogs had worried these, six others came and fought 
the dogs a long time. The noise of this combat awoke 
Janni, and he slew the Draken, and knew at last why 
the dogs were covered with blood. 

After that he freed all whom the Draken held prisoners, 
amongst others, a king's daughter. Out of gratitude she 
would have taken him for her husband ; 'but he put her off, 
saying : l For the kindness that I have been able to do to 
you, you shall receive in this castle all the blind and lame 
who pass this way.' The princess promised him to do so, 
and on his departure gave him a ring. 

So Janni plucked the pears and took them to his 
sister, who, when she had eaten them, declared she 
felt better. When, however, the Drakos heard that 
Janni had come back } 7 et a third time safe and sound, he 
fled for fright forty fathoms deeper underground; and, 
next day, when Janni was away hunting, he crept out 
and said to the sister: 4 Now are we indeed both lost, 
unless you find out from him wherein his strength lies, 
and then between us we will contrive to do away with 
him.' 

When, therefore, Janni had come back from hunting, 
and sat at evening with his sister by the fire, she begged 
him to tell her wherein lay his strength, and he 
answered : ; It lies in my two fingers ; if these are bound 
together then all my strength disappears.' 

' That I will not believe,' said the sister, ' unless I see 
it for myself.' 

Then he let her tie his fingers together with a thread, 
and immediately he became powerless. Then the sister 
called up the Drakos, who, when he had come forth, tore 
out Janni's eyes, gave them to his dogs to eat, and threw 
him into a dry well. 

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JANNI AND THE DEAKEJSf 



65 



Now it happened that some travellers, going to draw 
water from this well, heard Janni groaning at the bottom. 
They came near, and asked him where he was, and he 
begged them to draw him up from the well, for he was 
a poor unfortunate man. 

The travellers let a rope down and drew him up to 




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ffi#£i# 



daylight. Tt was not till 1hen that he first became aware 
that he was blind, and lie begged the travellers to lead 
him to the country of the king whose daughter he had 
freed, and they would be well repaid for their trouble. 

AVhen they had brought him there he sent to beg the 
princess to come to him; but she did not recognise 
him till he had shown her the ring she had given him. 

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G6 JANNI AND THE DRAKEN 

Then she remembered him, and took him with her 
into the castle. 

When she learnt what had befallen him she called 
together all the sorceresses in the country in order that 
they should tell her where the eyes were. At last she 
found one who declared that she knew where they were, 
and that she could restore them. This sorceress then 
went straight to the castle where dwelt the sister and 
the Drakos, and gave something to the dogs to eat which 
caused the eyes to reappear. She took them with her and 
put them back in Janni's head, so that lie saw as well as 
before. 

Then he returned to the castle of the Drakos, whom 
he slew as well as his sister; and, taking his dogs with 
him, went back to the princess and they were imme- 
diately married. 



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G7 



THE PARTNERSHIP OF THE THIEF 
AND THE LIAR. 



There was once upon a time a thief, who. being out of 
a job, was wandering by himself up and down the sea- 
shore. As he walked he passed a man who was standing 
still, looking at the waves. 

1 1 wonder,' said the thief, addressing the stranger, ' if 
3 t ou have ever seen a stone swimming?' 

1 Most certainly I have,' replied the other man, ' and, 
what is more, I saw the same stone jump out of the 
water and fly through the air.' 

1 This is capital,' replied the thief. 'You and I must 
go into partnership. We shall certainly make our for- 
tunes. Let us start together for the palace of the king 
of the neighbouring country. When we get there, I ^Yill 
go into his presence alone, and will tell him the most 
startling thing I can invent. Then you must follow and 
back up my lie.' 

Having agreed to do this, they set out on their travels. 
After several days' journeying, they reached the town 
where the king's palace was, and here they parted for a 
few hours, while the thief sought an interview with the 
king, and begged his majesty to give him a glass of beer. 

4 That is impossible,' said the king, 'as this year 
there has been a failure of all the crops, and of the hops 
and the vines ; so we have neither wine nor beer in the 
whole kingdom.' 

1 How extraordinary ! ' answered the thief. c I have 
just come from a country where the crops were so fine 

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68 THE THIEF AND THE LIAR 

that I saw twelve barrels of beer made out of one branch 
of hops.' 

6 1 bet you three hundred florins that is not true,' 
answered the king. 

4 And I bet you three hundred florins it is true,' 
replied the thief. 

Then each staked his three hundred florins, and the 
king said he would decide the question by sending a 
servant into that country to see if it was true. 

So the servant set out on horseback, and on the way 
he met a man, and he asked him whence he came. And 
the man told him that he came from the self-same 
country to which the servant was at that moment bound. 

' If that is the case,' said the servant, ' you can tell 
me how high the hops grow in your country, and how 
many barrels of beer can be brewed from one branch?' 

'I can't tell you that,' answered the man, 'but I 
happened to be present when the hops were being 
gathered in, and I saw that it took three men with axes 
three days to cut down one branch. 1 

Then the servant thought that he might save himself a 
long journey; so he gave the man ten florins, and told 
him he must repeat to the king what he had just told 
him. And when they got back to the palace, they came 
together into the king's presence. 

And the king asked him : * Well, is it true about the 
hops? ' 

' Yes, sire, it is,' answered the servant; * and here is a 
man I have brought with me from the country to confirm 
the tale.' 

So the king paid the thief the three hundred florins ; 
and the partners once more set out together in search of 
adventures. As they jounced, the thief said to his 
comrade: ' I will now go to another king, and will tell 
him something still more startling; and you must follow 
and back up my lie, and we shall get some money out of 
him ; just see if we don't.* 

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THE THIEF AXD THE LIAR G9 

When they reached the next kingdom, the thief pre- 
sented himself to the king", and requested him to give hrm 
a cauliflower. And the king answered : ' Owing to a 
blight among the vegetables we have no cauliflower.' 

'That is strange,' answered the thief. 'I have just 
eome from a country where it grows so well that one 
head of cauliflower filled twelve water-tubs.' 

' 1 don't believe it,' answered the king. 

'I bet you six hundred florins it is true/ replied the 
thief. 

'And I bet you six hundred florins it is not true,* 
answered the king. And he sent for a servant, and 
ordered him to start at once for the country whence the 
thief had come, to find out if his stoiy of the cauliflower 
was true. On his journe} T the servant met with a man. 
Stopping his horse he asked him where he came from, 
and the man replied that he came from the country to 
which the other was travelling. 

' If that is the case,' said the servant, l you can tell 
me to what size cauliflower grows in your country? Is 
it so large that one head fills twelve water-tubs? 7 

' I have not seen that,' answered the man. ' lint I 
saw twelve waggons, drawn by twelve horses, carry- 
ing one head of cauliflower to thp market.' 

And the servant answered: 'Here are ten florins for 
you, my man, for you have saved me a long journey. 
Come with me now, and tell the king what you have just 
told me.' 

4 All right,' said the man, and they went together to 
the palace; and when the king asked the servant if he 
had found out the truth about the cauliflower, the servant 
replied: 'Sire, all that you heard was perfectly true; 
here is a man from the country who will tell you so.' 

So the king had to pay the thief the six hundred 
florins. And the two partners set out once more on 
their travels, with their nine hundred florins. When they 
reached the countrv of the neisdibourino; kins:, the thief 

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70 THE THIEF AND THE LIAIi 

entered the royal presence, and began conversation by 
asking if his majesty knew that in an adjacent kingdom 
there was a town with a church steeple on which a bird 
had alighted, and that the steeple was so high, and the 
bird's beak so long, that it had pecked the stars till some 
of them fell out of the sky. 

fc I don't believe it,' said the king. 

6 Nevertheless I am prepared to bet twelve hundred 
florins that it is true/ answered the thief. 

'And I bet twelve hundred florins that it is a lie,' 
replied the king. And he straightway sent a servant 
into the neighbouring country to find out the truth. 

As he rode, the servant met a man coming in the 
opposite direction. So lie hailed him and asked him 
where he came from. And tlie man replied that he came 
out of the very town to which the man was bound. 
Then the servant asked him if the story they had heard 
about the bird with the long beak was true. 

'I don't know about that,' answered the man, 4 as I 
have never seen the bird; but I once saw twelve men 
shoving all their might and main with brooms to push a 
monster egg into a cellar.' 

4 That is capital,' answered the servant, presenting 
the man with ten florins. ' Come and tell your tale to 
the king, and you will save me a long journey.' 

So, when the story was repeated to the king, there 
was nothing for him to do but to pay the thief the twelve 
hundred florins. 

Then the two partners set out again with their ill- 
gotten gains, which they proceeded, to divide into two 
equal shares ; but the thief kept back three of the florins 
that belonged to the liar's half of the booty. Shortly 
afterwards they each married, and settled down in homes 
of their own with their wives. One day the liar dis- 
covered that he had been done out of three florins by his 
partner, so he went to his house and demanded them 
from him. 

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THE THIEF AND THE LIAR 



71 



* Come next Saturday, and I will give them to you/ 
answered the thief. But as he had no intention of giving 
the liar the money, when Saturday morning came he 
stretched himself out stiff and stark upon the bed, and 
told his w r ife she w T as to say he was dead. So the wife 
rubbed her eyes with an onion, and when the liar appeared 
at the door, she met him in tears, and told him that as 
her husband was dead he could not be paid the three 
florins. 

I OMCE SR.J 

i^'-5^^?4 K °yi^ *V l -' rf,£ "^ ^ ,|C -HT AND WAIN WITH TMVWIS TO PUSH A Aj 



V '^ 'T-'V .NM-OVIffG AU.' 




But the liar, who knew his partner's tricks, instantly 
suspected the truth, and said : 'As he has not paid me, I. 
will pay him out with three good lashes of my riding 
whip.' 

At these words the thief sprang to his feet, and, 
appearing at the door, promised his partner that if he 
would return the following Saturday he would pay him. 
So the liar went away satisfied with this promise. 

But when Saturday morning came the thief got up 

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72 THE THIEF AND THE LIAR 

early and "hid himself under a truss of hay in the hay- 
loft. 

"When the liar appeared to demand his three florins, 
the wife met him with tears in her e} T es, and told him that 
her husband was dead. 

* Where have } 7 ou buried him? ' asked the liar. 

4 In the hay-loft/ answered the wife. 

4 Then I will go there, and take away some hay in 
payment of his debt,' said the liar. And proceeding to 
the hay-loft, he began to toss about the hay with a pitch- 
fork, prodding it into the trusses of hay, till, in terror of 
his life, the thief crept out and promised his partner to pay 
him the three florins on the following Saturday. 

When the day came he got up at sunrise, and going 
down into the crypt of a neighbouring chapel, stretched 
himself out quite still and stiff in an old stone coflin. 
But the liar, who was quite as clever as his partner, very 
soon bethought him of the crypt, and set out for the 
chapel, confident that he would shortly discover the 
hiding-place of his friend. lie had just entered the crypt, 
and his eyes were not yet accustomed to the darkness, 
when he heard the sound of whispering at the grated 
windows. Listening intently, he overheard the plotting 
of a band of robbers, who had brought their treasure to 
the crypt, meaning to hide it there, while they set out on 
fresh adventures. All the time they were speaking they 
were removing the bars from the window, and in another 
minute they would all have entered the crypt, and dis- 
covered the liar. Quick as thought he wound his mantle 
round him and placed himself, standing stiff and erect, in 
a niche in the wall, so that in the dim light he looked just 
like an old stone statue. As soon as the robbers entered the 
crypt, they set about the work of dividing their treasure. 
Now, there were twelve robbers, but by mistake the chief 
of the band divided the gold into thirteen heaps. When 
he saw his mistake he said they had not time to count 
it all over again, but that the thirteenth heap should 

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THE THIEF AND THE LIAR 73 

belong to whoever among them could strike off the head 
of the old stone statue in the niche with one stroke. 
AVith these words he took up an axe, and approached the 
niche where the liar was standing. I3ut, just as he had 
waved the axe over his head ready to strike, a voice was 
heard from the stone coffin saying, in sepulchral tones : 
1 Clear out of this, or the dead will arise from their coffins, 
and the statues will descend from the walls, and you will 
be driven out more dead than alive.* And with a bound 
the thief jumped out of his coffin and the liar from his 
niche, and the robbers were so terrified that they ran 
helter-skelter out of the crypt, leaving all their gold behind 
them, and vowing that they would never put foot inside 
the haunted place again. So the partners divided the 
gold between them, and carried it to their homes; and 
history tells us no more about them. 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



74 



FOR T UNA T US AND BIS .PURSE 



Once upon a time there lived in the city of Famagosta, in 
the island of Cyprus, a rich man called Theodorus. He 
ought to have been the happiest person in the whole 
world, as he had all he could wish for, and a wife and 
little son whom he loved dearly ; but unluckily, after a 
short time he always grew tired of everything, and had to 
seek new pleasures. When people are made like this the 
end is generally the same, and before Fortunatus (for that 
was the boy's name) was ten years old, his father had 
spent all his money and had not a farthing left. 

But though Theodorus had been so foolish he was not 
quite without sense, and set about getting work at once. 
His wife, too, instead of reproaching him sent away the 
servants and sold their fine horses, and did all the work 
of the house herself, even washing the clothes of her 
husband and child. 

Thus time passed till Fortunatus was sixteen. One 
day when they were sitting at supper, the boy said to 
Theodorus, 'Father, why do yon look so sad? Tell me 
what is wrong, and perhaps I can help } T ou.' 

4 Ah, my son, I have reason enough to be sad; but 
for me you would now have been enjoying every kind of 
pleasure, instead of being buried in this tiny house.' 

4 Oh, do not let that trouble you,' replied Fortunatus, 
6 it is time I made some money for myself. To be sure I 
have never been taught any trade. Still there must be 
something I can do. I will go and walk on the seashore 
and think about it.* 



Digitized by Microsoft ( 



FORTUNATUS AND HIS PURSE 75 

Very soon — sooner than he expected — a chance came, 
and Fortunatns, like a wise boy, seized on it at once. 
The post offered him was that of page to the Earl of 
Flanders, and as the Earl's daughter was just going to 
be married, splendid festivities were held in her honour, 
and at some of the tilting matches Fortunatns was 
lucky enough to win the prize. These prizes, together 
with presents from the lords and ladies of the court, 
who liked him for his pleasant ways, made Fortunatus 
feel quite a rich man. 

Bat though his head was not turned by the notice 
taken of him, it excited the envy of some of the other 
pages about the Court, and one of them, called Robert, 
invented a plot to move Fortunatus out of his way. So 
he told the young man that the Earl had taken a dislike 
to him and meant to kill him ; Fortunatus believed the 
story, and packing up his fine clothes and money, slipped 
away before dawn. 

He went to a great many big towns and lived well, and 
as he was generous and not wiser than most youths of his 
age, he very soon found himself penniless. Like his 
father, he then began to think of work, and tramped half 
over Brittany in search of it. Nobody seemed to want 
him, and he wandered about from one place to another, 
till he found himself in a dense wood, without any paths, 
and not much light. Here he spent two whole days, 
with nothing to eat and very little water to drink, going 
first in one direction and then in another, but never being 
able to find his way out. During the first night he slept 
soundly, and was too tired to fear either man or beast, 
but when darkness came on for the second time, and 
growls were heard in the distance, he grew frightened and 
looked about for a high tree out of reach of his enemies. 
Hardty had he settled himself comfortably in one of the 
forked branches, when a lion walked up to a spring that 
burst from a rock close to the tree, and crouching down 
drank greedily. This was bad enough, but after all, lions 

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76 FORTUNATUS AND JUS PURSE 

do not climb trees, and as long as Fortunatus stayed up 
on his perch, he was quite safe. But no sooner was the 
lion out of sight, than his place was taken by a bear, and 
bears, as Fortunatus knew very well, are tree-climbers. 
His heart beat fast, and not without reason, for as the 
bear turned away he looked up and saw Fortunatus! 

Now in those days every young man carried a sword 
slung to his belt, and it was a fashion that came in very 
handily for Fortunatus. He drew his sword, and when 
the bear got within a yard of him he made a fierce lunge 
forward. The bear, wild with pain, tried to spring, but 
the bough he was standing on broke with his weight, and 
he fell heavily to the ground. Then Fortunatus descended 
from his tree (first taking good care to see no other wild 
animals were in sight) and killed him with a single blow. 
He was just thinking he would light a lire and make a 
hearty dinner off bear's liesh. which is not at all bad eat- 
ing, when he beheld a beautiful lady standing by his side 
leaning on a wheel, and her eyes hidden by a bandage. 

6 1 am Dame Fortune,' she said, ' and I have a gift for 
you. Shall it be wisdom, strength, long life, riches, 
health, or beauty? Think well, and tell me what you 
will have.' 

But Fortunatus, who had proved the truth of the 
proverb that 'It's ill thinking on an empty stomach,* 
answered quickly, ' Good lady, let me have riches in such 
plenty that I may never again be as hungry as I am 
now/ 

And the lady held out a purse and told him he 
had only to put his hand into it, and he and his children 
would always find ten pieces of gold. But when they 
were dead it would be a magic purse no longer. 

At this news Fortunatus was beside himself with joy, 
and could hardly find words to thank the lady. But she 
told him that the best thing he could do was to find his 
way out of the wood, and before bidding him farewell 
pointed out which path he should take. He walked 

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FORTUNATUS AND HIS PURSE 79 

along it as fast as his weakness would let him, until a 
welcome light at a little distance showed him that a house 
was near. It turned out to be an inn, but before entering 
Fortunatus thought he had better make sure of the truth 
of what the lady had told him, and took out the purse 
and looked inside. Sure enough there were the ten 
pieces of gold, shining brightly. Then Fortunatus walked 
boldly up to the inn, and ordered them to get ready a 
good supper at once, as he was very hungry, and to bring 
him the best wine in the house. And he seemed to care 
so little what he spent that everybody thought lie was a 
great lord, and vied with each other who should run 
quickest when he called. 

After a night passed in a soft bed, Fortunatus felt 
so much better that he asked the landlord if he could 
find him some men-servants, and tell him where any 
good horses were to be got. The next thing was to 
provide himself with smart clothes, and then to take 
a big house where he could give great feasts to the 
nobles and beautiful ladies who lived in palaces round 
about. 

In this manner a whole year soon slipped away, and 
Fortunatus was so busy amusing himself that he never 
once remembered his parents whom he had left behind in 
Cyprus, lint though he was thoughtless, he was not bad- 
hearted. As soon as their existence crossed his mind, 
he set about making preparations to visit them, and as lie 
was not fond of being alone he looked round for some one 
older and wiser than himself to travel with him. It was 
not long before he had the good luck to come across an 
old man who had left his wife and children in a far 
country many years before, when he went out into the 
world to seek the fortune which he never found. He 
agreed to accompany Fortunatus back to Cyprus, but only 
on condition he should first be allowed to return for a few 
weeks to his own home before venturing to set sail for an 
island so strange and distant. Fortunatus agreed to his 

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80 FORTUNATUS AND HIS PURSE 

proposal, and as he was always fond of anything new, 
said that he would go with him. 

The journey was long, and they had to cross many 
large rivers, and climb over high mountains, and find 
their way through thick woods, before they readied at 
length the old man's castle. His wife and children had 
almost given up hopes of seeing him again, and crowded 
eagerly round him. Indeed, it did not take Fortunatus 
five minutes to fall in love with the youngest daughter, 
the most beautiful creature in the whole world, whose 
name was Cassandra. 

4 Give her to me for my wife,' he said to the old man, 
4 and let us all go together to Famagosta.' 

So a ship was bought big enough to hold Fortunatus, 
the old man and his wife, and their ten children — 
five of them sons and live daughters. And the day before 
they sailed the wedding was celebrated with magnificent 
rejoicings, and everybody thought that Fortunatus must 
certainly be a prince in disguise. But when they reached 
Cyprus, he learned to his sorrow that both his father and 
mother were dead, and for some time he shut himself up in 
his house and would see nobody, full of shame at having 
forgotten them all these years. Then he begged that the 
old man and his wife would remain with him, and take 
the place of his parents. 

For twelve years Fortunatus and Cassandra and their 
two little boys lived happily in Famagosta. They had a 
beautiful house and everything they could possibly want, 
and when Cassandra's sisters married the purse provided 
them each with a fortune. But at last Fortunatus grew 
tired of staying at home, and thought he should like to 
go out and see the world again. Cassandra shed many 
tears at first when lie* told her of his wishes, and he had 
a great deal of trouble to persuade her to give her con- 
sent. But on his promising to return at the end of two 
years she agreed to let him go. Before he went away 
he showed her three chests of gold, which stood in a 

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FORTUXATUS AND HIS PURSE 81 

room with an iron door, and walls twelve feet thick 
4 If anything should happen to me,' he said, 4 and I should 
never come back, keep one of the chests for yourself, and 
give the others to our two sons.' Then he embraced them 
all and took ship for Alexandria. 

The wind was fair and in a few days they entered the 
harbour, where Fortunatus was informed by a man whom 
he met on landing, that if he wished to be well received 
in the town, he must begin b} T making a handsome 
present to the Sultan. 'That is easily done,' said For- 
tunatus, and went into a goldsmith's shop, where he 
bought a large gold cup, which cost five thousand pounds. 
This gift so pleased the Sultan that he ordered a hundred 
casks of spices to be given to Fortunatus ; Fortunatus 
put them on board his ship, and commanded the captain 
to return to Cyprus and deliver them to his wife, 
Cassandra. lie next obtained an audience of the Sultan, 
and begged permission to travel through the country, 
which the Sultan readily gave him, adding some letters 
to the rulers of other lands which Fortunatus might wish 
to visit. 

Filled with delight at feeling himself free to roam 
through the world once more, Fortunatus set out on his 
journey without losing a day. From court to court he 
went, astonishing everyone by the magnificence of his 
dress and the splendour of his presents. At length he grew 
as tired of wandering as he had been of staying at home, 
and returned to Alexandria, where he found the same 
ship that had brought him from Cyprus lying in the 
harbour. Of course the first thing he did was to pay his 
respects to the Sultan, who was eager to hear about his 
adventures. 

When Fortunatus had told them all, the Sultan ob- 
served : 'Well, you have seen many wonderful things, 
but I have something to show you more wonderful still;' 
and he led him into a room where precious stones lay 
heaped against the walls. Fortunatus' eyes were quite 

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82 FORTUNATUS AND HIS PURSE 

dazzled, but the Sultan went on without pausing and 
opened a door at the farther end. As far as Fortunatus 
could see, the cupboard was quite bare, except for a little 
red cap, such as soldiers wear in Turkey. 

4 Look at this,' said the Sultan. 

' But there is nothing very valuable about it, 5 answered 
Fortunatus. ' I *ve seen a dozen better caps than that, this 
very day.' 

i Ah,' said the Sultan, 'you do not know what you are 
talking about. Whoever puts this cap on his head and 
wishes himself in any place, will find himself there in a 
moment.' 

' But who made it? ' asked Fortunatus. 

' That I cannot tell you/ replied the Sultan. 

' Is it very heavy to wear? ' asked Fortunatus. 

'No, quite light,' replied the Sultan, ; just feel it.' 

Fortunatus took the cap and put it on his head, and 
then, without thinking, wished himself back in the ship that 
was starting for Famagosta. In a second he was stand- 
ing at the prow, while the anchor was being weighed, and 
while the Sultan was repenting of his folly in allowing 
Fortunatus to try on the cap, the vessel was making fast 
for Cyprus. 

When it arrived, Fortunatus found his wife and 
children well, but the two old people were dead and 
buried. His sons had grown tall and strong, but unlike 
their father had no wish to see the world, and found their 
chief pleasure in hunting and tilting. In the main, Fortu- 
natus was content to stay quietly at home, and if a restless 
fit did seize upon him, he was able to go away for a few 
hours without being missed, thanks to the cap, which he 
never sent back to the Sultan. 

By-and-by he grew old, and feeling that he had not 
many days to live, he sent for his two sons, and showing 
them the purse and cap, he said to them : k Never part 
with these precious possessions. They are worth more 
than all the gold and lands I leave behind me. But 

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FORTUNATUS AND HIS PURSE 83 

never tell their secret, even to your wife or dearest friend. 
That purse has served rue well for forty years, and no one 
knows whence I got my riches.' Then he died and was 
buried by his wife Cassandra, and he was mourned in 
Famagosta for many years. 



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84 



THE GOAT-FACED GIRL 



There was once upon a time a peasant called Masaniello 
who had twelve daughters. Tbey were exactly like the 
steps of a staircase, for there was just a year between 
each sister. It was all the poor man could do to bring- 
up such a large family, and in order to provide food for 
them he used to dig in the fields all day long. In spite 
of his hard work he only just succeeded in keeping the 
wolf from the door, and the poor little girls often went 
hungry to bed. 

One day, when Masaniello was working at the foot of 
a high mountain, he came upon the mouth of a cave which 
was so dark and gloom} 7 that even the sun seemed afraid 
to enter it. Suddenly a huge green lizard appeared from 
the inside and stood before Masaniello, who nearly went 
out of his mind with terror, for the beast was as big as a 
crocodile and quite as fierce looking. 

But the lizard sat down beside him in the most 
friendly manner, and said : ' Don't be afraid, my good 
man, I am not going to hurt you ; on the contrary, I am 
most anxious to help you.' 

When the peasant heard these words he knelt before 
the lizard and said: l Dear lady, for I know not what to 
call 3 T ou, I am in your power; but I beg of you to be 
merciful, for I have twelve wretched little daughters at 
home who are dependent on me.' 

'That's the very reason why I have come to you,' 
replied the lizard. ' Bring me } T our youngest daughter 
to-morrow morning. I promise to bring her up as if she 

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THE GOAT-FACED GIRL 87 

were my own child, and to look upon her as the apple of 
my eye/ 

When Masaniello heard her words he was very 
unhappy, because he felt sure, from the lizard's wanting 
one of his daughters, the youngest and tenderest too, that 
the poor little girl would only serve as dessert for the 
terrible creature's supper. At the same time he said to 
himself, ' If I refuse her request, she will certainly eat me 
up on the spot. If 1 give her what she asks she does 
indeed take part of myself, but if I refuse she will take 
the whole of me. What am I to do, and how in the 
world am I to get out of the difficulty.?' 

As he kept muttering to himself the lizard said, 
' Make up your mind to do as I tell you at once. I 
desire to have your youngest daughter, and if you won't 
comply with my wish, I can only say it will be the worse 
for you.' 

Seeing that there was nothing else to be done, 
Masaniello set off for his home, and arrived there looking 
so white and wretched that his wife asked him at once: 
k AVhat has happened to you, my dear husband? Have 
you quarrelled with anyone, or has the poor donkey 
fallen down ? ' 

1 Neither the one nor the other,' answered her hus- 
band, ' but something far worse than either. A terrible 
lizard has nearly frightened me out of my senses, for 
she threatened that if I did not give her our youngest 
daughter, she would make me repent it. My head is 
going round like a mill-wheel, and I don't know what to 
do. I am indeed between the Devil and the Deep Sea. 
You know how dearly I love Kenzolla, and yet, if I fail to 
bring her to the lizard to-morrow morning, I must say 
farewell to life. Do advise me what to do.' 

When his wife had heard all lie had to say, she said 

to him : ' How do 3^011 know, my dear husband, that the 

lizard is really our enemy? May she not be a friend 

in disguise? And your meeting with her may be the 

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8S THE GOAT-FACED GIRL 

beginning of better things and the end of all our misery. 
Therefore go and take the child to her, for my heart tells 
me that you will never repent doing so.' 

Masaniello was much comforted by her words, and 
next morning as soon as it was light he took his little 
daughter by the hand and led her to the cave. 

The lizard, who was awaiting the peasant's arrival, 
came forward to meet him, and taking the girl by 
the hand, she gave the father a sack full of gold, and 
said : 'Go and marry your other daughters, and give 
them dowries witli this gold, and be of good cheer, for 
Kenzolla will have both father and mother in me ; it is 
a great piece of luck for her that she has fallen into my 
hands/ 

Masaniello, quite overcome with gratitude, thanked 
the lizard, and returned home to his wife. 

As soon as it was known how rich the peasant had 
become, suitors for the hands of his daughters were not 
wanting, and very soon he married them all off ; and 
even then there was enough gold left to keep himself and 
his wife in comfort and plenty all their days. 

As soon as the lizard was left alone with Eenzolla, 
she changed the cave into a beautiful palace, and led the 
girl inside. Here she brought her up like a little prin- 
cess, and the child wanted for nothing. She gave he? 
sumptuous food to eat, beautiful clothes to wear, and a 
thousand servants to wait on her. 

Now, it happened, one day, that the king of the country 
was hunting in a wood close to the palace, and was over- 
taken by the dark. Seeing a light shining in the palace 
he sent one of his servants to ask if he could get a night's 
lodging there. 

AVhen the page knocked at the door the lizard 
changed herself into a beautiful woman, and opened it 
herself. When she heard the king's request she sent 
him a message to say that she would be delighted to see 
him, and give him all he wanted. 

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THE GOAT-FACED GIRL 80 

The king, on hearing this kind invitation, instantly 
betook himself to the palace, where he was received in 
the most hospitable manner. A hundred pages with 
torches came to meet him, a hundred more waited on 
him at table, and another hundred waved big fans in the 
air to keep the flies from him. Renzolla herself poured 
out the wine for him, and, so gracefully did she do it, that 
his Majesty could not take his eyes off her. 

When the meal was finished and the table cleared, 
the king retired to sleep, and Renzolla drew r the shoes 
from his feet, at the same time drawing his heart from 
his breast. So desperately had he fallen in love with 
her, that he called the fairy to him, and asked her for 
Renzolla's hand in marriage. As the kind fairy had 
only the girl's welfare at heart, she willingly gave her 
consent, and not her consent only, but a wedding portion 
of seven thousand golden guineas. 

The king, full of delight over his good fortune, pre- 
pared to take his departure, accompanied by Renzolla, 
who never so much as thanked the fairy for all she had 
done for her. When the fairy saw such a base want of 
gratitude she determined to punish the girl, and, cursing 
her, she turned her face into a goat's head. In a moment 
Renzolla's pretty mouth stretched out into a snout, with 
a beard a yard long at the end of it, her cheeks sank in, 
and her shining plaits of hair changed into two sharp 
horns. When the king turned round and saw her he 
thought he must have taken leave of his senses. lie 
burst into tears, and cried out: ' Where is the hair that 
bound me so tightly, where are the eyes that pierced 
through my heart, and where are the lips I kissed? Am 
I to be tied to a goat all my life? No, no ! nothing will 
induce me to become the laughing-stock of my subjects 
for the sake of a goat-faced girl ! ' 

When they reached his own country he shut Renzolla 
up in a little turret chamber of his palace, with a 
waiting-maid, and gave each of them ten bundles of flax 

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90 THE GOAT-FACED GI11L 

to spin, telling them that their task must be finished by 
the end of the week. 

The maid, obedient to the king's commands, set at 
once to work and combed out the flax, wound it round 
the spindle, and sat spinning at her wheel so diligently 
that her work was quite done by Saturday evening. But 
Renzolla, who had been spoilt and petted in the fairy's 
house, and was quite unaware of the change that had 
taken place in her appearance, threw the flax out of the 
window and said : ; What is the king thinking of that 
he should give me this work to do? Jf he wants shirts 
he can buy them. It is n't even as if he had picked me 
out of the gutter, for he ought to remember that I 
brought him seven thousand golden guineas as my wed- 
ding portion, and that I am his wife and not his slave. 
He must be mad to treat me like this.' 

All the same, when Saturday evening came, and she 
saw that the waiting-maid had finished her task, she took 
fright lest she should be punished for her idleness. So 
she hurried off to the palace of the fairy, and confided 
all her woes to her. The fairy embraced her tenderly, 
and gave her a sack full of spun flax, in order that she 
might show it to the king, and let him see what a good 
worker she was. Renzolla took the sack without one 
word of thanks, and returned to the palace, leaving the 
kind fairy very indignant over her want of gratitude. 

When the king saw the flax all spun, he gave Renzolla 
and the waiting-maid each a little dog, and told them to 
look after the animals and train them carefully. 

The waiting-maid brought hers up with the greatest 
possible care, and treated it almost as if it were her 
son. But Renzolla said : ' I don't know what to think. 
Have I come among a lot of lunatics? Does the king 
imagine that I am going to comb and feed a dog with my 
own hands?' With these words she opened the window 
and threw the poor little beast out, and he fell on the 
ground as dead as a stone. 

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THE GOAT-FACED GIRL 



91 



When a few months had passed the king sent a 
message to say he would like to see how the dogs were 
getting on. Renzolla, who felt very uncomfortable in 
her mind at this request, hurried off once more to the 




fairy. This time she found an old man at the door of 
the fairy's palace, who said to her: 'Who are you, and 
what do you want?' 

When Ivenzolla heard his question she answered 

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92 THE GOAT-FACED GIRL 

angrily: ; Don't you know me, old Goat-beard? And 
how dare you address me in such a way?' 

1 The pot can't call the kettle black/ answered the 
old man, ' for it is not I, but you who have a goat's head. 
Just wait a moment, you ungrateful wretch, and I will 
show you to what a pass your want of gratitude has 
brought you.' 

With these words he hurried away, and returned with 
a mirror, which he held up before Renzolla. At the sight 
of her ugly, hairy face, the girl nearly faiuted with horror, 
and she broke into loud sobs at seeing her countenance so 
changed. 

Then the old man said : ' You must remember, Renzolla, 
that you are a peasant's daughter, and that tbe fairy turned 
you into a queen ; but you were ungrateful, and never as 
much as thanked her for all she had done for you. There- 
fore she has determined to punish you. But if you wish 
to lose your long white beard, throw yourself at the 
fairy's feet and implore her to forgive you. She has a 
tender heart, and will, perhaps, take pity on you.' 

Renzolla, who was really sorry for her conduct, took 
the old man's advice, and the fairy not only gave her 
back her former face, but she dressed her in a gold em- 
broidered dress, presented her with a beautiful carriage, 
and brought her back, accompanied by a host of servants, 
to her husband. When the king saw her looking as 
beautiful as ever, he fell in love with her once more, and 
bitterly repented having caused her so much suffering. 

So Renzolla lived happily ever afterwards, for she 
loved her husband, honoured the fairy, and was grateful 
to the old man for having told her the truth. 

[From the Italian, Kletke,~\ 



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93 



WHAT GAME OF PICKING FLOWERS 



There was once a woman who had three daughters whom 
she loved very much. One day the eldest was walking in 
a water-meadow, when she saw a pink growing in the 
stream. She stooped to pick the flower, but her hand 
had scarcely touched it, when she vanished altogether. 
The next morning the second sister went out into the 
meadow, to see it' she could find any traces of the lost 
girl, and as a branch of lovely roses lay trailing across her 
path, she bent down to move it away, and in so doing, 
could not resist plucking one of the roses. In a moment 
she too had disappeared. Wondering what could have 
become of her two sisters, the youngest followed in their 
footsteps, and fell a victim to a branch of delicious white 
jessamine. So the old woman was left without any 
daughters at all. 

She wept, and wept, and wept, all day and all night, 
and went on weeping so long, that her son, w T ho had been 
a little boy when his sisters disappeared, grew up to be a 
tall youth. Then one night he asked his mother to tell 
him what was the matter. 

When he had heard the whole story, he said, ' Give 
me your blessing, mother, and J will go and search the 
world till I find them.' 

So he set forth, and after he had travelled several 
miles without any adventures, he came upon three big boys 
fighting in the road. He stopped and inquired what they 
were fighting about, and one of them answered : 

' My lord ! our father left to us, when he died, a pair of 

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94: WHAT CAME OF PICKING FLOWERS 

boots, a key, and a cap. Whoever puts on the boots and 
wishes himself in any place, will find himself there. The 
key will open every door in the world, and with the cap 
on your head no one can see you. Now our eldest 
brother wants to have all three things for himself, and 
we wish to draw lots for them.' 

1 Oh, that is easily settled/ said the youth. ' I will 
throw this stone as far as I can, and the one who picks it 
up first, shall have the three things.' So he took the stone 
and flung it, and while the three brothers were running 
after it, he drew hastily on the boots, and said, 4 Boots, 
take me to the place where I shall find my eldest 
sister.' 

The next moment the young man was standing on a 
steep mountain before the gates of a strong castle guarded 
by bolts and bars and iron chains. The key, which he 
had not forgotten to put in his pocket, opened the doors 
one by one, and he walked through a number of halls and 
corridors, till he met a beautiful and richl} T -dressed young 
lady who started back in surprise at the sight of him, and 
exclaimed, 'Oh, sir, how did you contrive to get in here?' 
The young man replied that he was her brother, and told 
her by what means he had been able to pass through the 
doors. In return, she told him how happy she was, except 
for one thing, and that was, her husband lay under a 
spell, and could never break it till there should be put to 
death a man who could not die. 

They talked together for a long time, and then the 
lady said he had better leave her as she expected her 
husband back at any moment, and he might not like him 
to be there; but the young man assured her she need 
not be afraid, as he had with him a cap which would 
make him invisible. They were still deep in conversa- 
tion when the door suddenly opened, and a bird flew in, 
but he saw nothing unusual, for, at the first noise, the 
youth had put on his cap. The lady jumped up and 
brought a large golden basin, into which the bird flew, 

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WHAT CAME OF PICKING FLOWERS 97 

reappearing directly after as a handsome man. Turning 
to his wife, he cried, 'I am sure someone is in the room ! ' 
She got frightened, and declared that she was quite alone, 
but her husband persisted, and in the end she had to 
confess the truth. 

' But if he is really your brother, why did you hide 
him?* asked he. ' I believe you are telling me a lie, and 
if he comes back I shall kill him ! ' 

At this the youth took off his cap, and came forward. 
Then the husband saw that he was indeed so like his wife 
that he doubted her word no longer, and embraced his 
brother-in-law with, delight. Drawing a feather from his 
bird's skin, he said, l If you are in danger and cry, " Come 
and help me, King of the Birds," everything will go well 
with you.' 

The young man thanked him and went away, and 
after he had left the castle he told the boots that they 
must take him to the place where his second sister was 
living. As before, he found himself at the gates of a huge 
castle, and within was his second sister, very happy with 
her husband, who loved her dearly, but longing for the 
moment when he should be set free from the spell that 
kept him half his life a fish. When he arrived and had 
been introduced by his wife to her brother, he welcomed 
him warmly, and gave him a fish-scale, saying, ' If you 
are in danger, call to me, " Come and help me, King of 
the Fishes," and everything will go well with you.' 

The young man thanked him and took his leave, and 
when he was outside the gates he told the boots to take 
him to the place where his youngest sister lived. The boots 
carried him to a dark cavern, with steps of iron leading 
up to it. Inside she sat, weeping and sobbing, and as she 
had done nothing else the whole time she had been there, 
the poor girl had grown very thin. When she saw a man 
standing before her, she sprang to her feet and exclaimed, 
1 Oh, whoever you are, save me and take me from this 
horrible place ! ' Then he told her who he was, and how 

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98 WHAT CAME OF PICKING FLOWERS 

he had seen her sisters, whose happiness was spoilt by the 
spell under which both their husbands la\ T , and she, in turn, 
related her story. She had been carried off in the water- 
meadow by a horrible monster, who wanted to make her 
marry him by force, and had kept her a prisoner all these 
years because she would not submit to his will. Every day 
he came to beg her to consent to his wishes, and to remind 
her that there was no hope of her being set free, as lie was 
the most constant man in the world, and besides that he 
could never die. At these words the youth remembered 
his two enchanted brothers-in-law, and he advised his 
sister to promise to marry the old man, if he would tell 
her why he could never die. Suddenly everything began 
to tremble, as if it was shaken by a whirlwind, and the 
old man entered, and Hinging himself at the feet of the 
girl, he said: ' Are you still determined never to marry me? 
If so you will have to sit there weeping till the end of 
the world, for I shall always be faithful to my wish to 
marry you ! ' ' Well, I will marry } T ou,' she said, ' if you 
will tell me why it is that you can never die.' 

Then the old man burst into peals of laughter. ' Ah, 
ah, ah ! You are thinking how you would be able to kill 
me? Well, to do that, you would have to find an iron 
casket which lies at the bottom of the sea, and lias a 
white dove inside, and then you would have to find the eo-<r 
which the dove laid, and bring it here, and dash it against 
my head.' And he laughed again in his certainty that 
no one had ever got down to the bottom of the sea, and 
that if they did, they would never find the casket, or be 
able to open it. When he could speak once more, 
he said, ' Now you will be obliged to marry me, as you 
know my secret' But she begged so hard that the 
wedding might be put off for three days, that he con- 
sented, and went away rejoicing at his victory. When 
he had disappeared, the brother took off the cap which 
had kept him invisible all this time, and told his sister 
not to lose heart as he hoped in three days she would be 

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WHAT CAME OF PICKING FLO WEES 101 

free. Then he drew on his boots, and wished himself at 
the seashore, and there he was directly. Drawing out 
the fish-scale, he cried, l Come and help me, King of the 
Fishes ! ' and his brother-in-law swam up, and asked 
what he could do. The young man related the story, 
and when he had finished his listener summoned all 
the fishes to his presence. The last to arrive was a little 
sardine, who apologised for being so late, but said she 
had hurt herself by knocking her head against an iron 
casket that lay in the bottom of the sea. The king 
ordered several of the largest and strongest of his sub- 
jects to take the little sardine as a guide, and bring him 
the iron casket. The} T soon returned with the box 
placed across their backs and laid it down before him. 
Then the youth produced the key and said, ' Key, open 
that box! ' and the key opened it, and though they were 
all crowding round, ready to catch it, the white dove 
within flew away. 

It was useless to go after it, and for a moment the 
young man's heart sank. The next minute, however, he 
remembered that he had still his feather, and drew it out 
crying, ' Come to me, King of the Birds ! ' and a rushing 
noise was heard, and the King of the Birds perched on 
his shoulder, and asked what he could do to help him. 
His brother-in-law told him the whole story, and when 
he had finished the King of the Birds commanded all 
his subjects to hasten to his presence. In an instant the 
air was dark with birds of all sizes, and at the very 
last came the white dove, apologising for being so late 
by saying that an old friend had arrived at his nest, and 
he had been obliged to give him some dinner. The King 
of the Birds ordered some of them to show the young 
man the white dove's nest, and when they reached it. there 
lay the egg which was to break the spell and set them all 
free. AVhen it was safely in his pocket, he told the boots 
to carry him straight to the cavern where his youngest 
sister sat awaiting him. 

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102 WHAT CAME OF PICKING FLO WEBS 

Now it was already far on into the third day, which 
the old man had fixed for the wedding, and when the 
youth reached the cavern with his cap on his head, he 
found the monster there, urging the girl to keep her 
word and let the marriage take place at once. At a 
sign from her brother she sat down and invited the old 
monster to lay his head on her lap. lie did so with 
delight, and her brother standing behind her back passed 
her the egg unseen. She took it, and dashed it straight 
at the horrible head, and .the monster started, and with a 
groan that people took for the rumblings of an earth- 
quake, he turned over and died. 

As the breath went out of his body the husbands of 
the two eldest daughters resumed their proper shapes, 
and, sending for their mother-in-law, whose sorrow was 
so unexpectedly turned into joy, they had a great feast, 
and the youngest sister was rich to the end of her days 
with the treasures she found in the cave, collected by 
the monster. 

[From the Portuguese.] 



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103 



THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 



There was once a king and a queen who had three 
wonderfully beautiful daughters, and their one thought, 
from morning till night, was how they could make the 
girls happy. 

One day the princesses said to the king, ' Dear father, 
we want so much to have a picnic, and eat our dinner in 
the country.' 

' Very well, dear children, let us have a picnic by all 
means/ answered he, and gave orders that everything 
should be got ready. 

When luncheon was prepared it was put into a cart, 
and the royal family stepped into a carriage and drove 
right away into the country. After a few miles they 
reached a house and garden belonging to the king, and 
close by was their favourite place for lunch. The drive 
had made them very hungry, and they ate with a hearty 
appetite, till almost all the food had disappeared. 

When they had quite done, they said to their 
parents : ' Now we should like to wander about the gar- 
den a little, but when you want to go home, just call to 
us. J And they ran off, laughing, down a green glade, 
which led to the garden. 

But no sooner had they stepped across the fence, than 
a dark cloud came down and covered them, and pre- 
vented them seeing whither they were going. 

Meanwhile the king and queen sat lazily among the 
heather, and an hour or two slipped away. The sun was 
dropping towards the horizon, and they began to think it 

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104 THE STORY OF BENSUEDATU 

was time to go home. So they called to their daughters 
and called again, bat no one answered them. 

Frightened at the silence, they searched every corner 
of the garden, the house, and the neighbouring wood, 
but no trace of the girls was to be found anywhere. The 
earth seemed to have swallowed them up. The poor 
parents were in despair. The queen wept all the way 
home, and for many days after, and the king issued a 
proclamation that whoever should bring back his lost 
daughters should have one of them ( to wife, and should, 
after his death, reign in his stead. 

Now two young generals were at that time living at 
the court, and when they heard the king's declaration, 
they said one to the other: ; Let us go in search of them; 
perhaps we shall be the lucky persons.' 

And they set out, each mounted on a strong horse, 
taking with them a change of raiment and some money. 

But though they inquired at every village they rode 
through, they could hear nothing of the princesses, and 
by-and-by their money was all spent, and they were forced 
to sell their horses, or give up the search. Even this 
money only lasted a little while longer, and nothing but 
their clothes lay between them and starvation. They 
sold the spare garments that were bound on their sad- 
dles, and went in the coats they stood up in to the inn, to 
beg for some food, as they were really starving. When, 
however, they had to pay for what they had eaten, and 
drank, they said to the host: 'We have no money, and 
naught but the clothes we stand up in. Take these, 
and give us instead some old rags, and let us stay here 
and serve you.' And the innkeeper was content with the 
bargain, and the generals remained, and were his servants. 

All this time the king and queen remained in their 
palace hungering for their children, but not a word was 
heard of either of them or of the generals who had gone 
to seek for them. 

Now there was living in the palace a faithful servant 

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THE STORY OF BENSUBDATU 107 

of the king's called Bensurdatu, who had served him for 
many years, and when Bensurdatu saw how grieved the 
king was, he lifted up his voice and said to liim : ' Your 
majesty, let me go and seek your daughters/ 

' No, no, Bensurdatu,' replied the king. « Three daugh- 
ters have I lost, and two generals, and shall I lose you 
also?' 

But Bensurdatu said again : ' Let me now go, your 
majesty ; trust me, and I will bring you back your 
daughters.' 

Then the king gave way, and Bensurdatu set forth, 
and rode on till he came to the inn, where he dismounted 
and asked for food. It was brought by the two generals, 
whom he knew at once in spite of their miserable clothes, 
and, much astonished, asked them how in the world they 
came there. 

They told him all their adventures, and he sent for 
the innkeeper, and said to him : ' Give them back their 
garments, and I will pay everything that they owe you.' 

And the innkeeper did as he was bid, and when the 
two generals were dressed in their proper clothes, they 
declared they would join Bensurdatu, and with him seek 
for the king's daughters. 

The three companions rode on for many miles, and at 
length they came to a wild place, without sign of a human 
being. It was getting dark, and fearing to be lost on this 
desolate spot they pushed on their horses, and at last 
saw a light in the window of a tiny hut. 

'Who comes there?' asked a voice, as they knocked 
at the door. 

c Oh ! have pity on us, and give us a night's shelter,' 
replied Bensurdatu; 'we are three tired travellers who 
have lost our way.' 

Then the door was opened by a very old woman, w r ho 
stood back, and beckoned them to enter. 'Whence do 
you come, and whither do you go?' said she. 

' Ah, good woman, we have a heavy task before us,' 

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108 THE STOEY OF BENSURDATU 

answered Bensurdatu, ' we are bound to carry the king's 
daughters back to the palace ! ' 

4 Oh, unhappy creatures,' cried she, 'you know not 
what you are doing ! The king's daughters were covered 
by a thick cloud, and no one knows where they may 
now be.' 

'Oh, tell us, if you know, my good woman,' entreated 
Bensurdatu, ' for with them lies all our happiness.' 

4 Even if I were to tell you,' answered she, ' you could 
not rescue them. To do that you would have to go to 
the very bottom of a deep river, and though certainly you 
would find the king's daughters there, yet the two eldest 
are guarded by two giants, and the youngest is watched 
by a serpent with seven heads.' 

The two generals, who stood by listening, were filled 
with terror at her words, and wished to return immedi- 
ately; but Bensurdatu stood firm, and said: 'Now we 
have got so far we must carry the thing through. Tell 
us where the river is, so that we may get there as soon as 
possible.' And the old woman told them, and gave them 
some cheese, wine, and bread, so that they should not set 
forth starving ; and when they had eaten and drunk they 
laid themselves down to sleep. 

The sun had only just risen above the hills next 
morning before they all woke, and, taking leave of the 
wise woman who had helped them, they rode on till they 
came to the river. 

4 1 am the eldest,' said one of the generals, ' and it is 
my right to go down first.' 

So the others fastened a cord round him, and gave 
him a little bell, and let him down into the water. But 
scarcely had the river closed above his head when such 
dreadful rushing sounds and peals of thunder came 
crushing round about him that he lost all his courage, 
and rang his bell, if perchance it might be heard amidst 
all this clamour. Great was his relief when the rope 
began slowly to pull him upwards. 

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THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 109 

Then the other general plunged in ; but he fared no 
better than the first, and was soon on dry ground 
again. 

' Well, you are a brave pair! ' said Bensurdatu, as he 
tied the rope round his own waist ; ' let us see what will 
happen to me.' And when he heard the thunder and 
clamour round about him he thought to himself, ' Oh, 
make as much noise as you like, it won't hurt me ! ' 
When his feet touched the bottom he found himself in a 
large, brilliantly lighted hall, and in the middle sat the 
eldest princess, and in front of her lay a huge giant, fast 
asleep. Directly she saw Bensurdatu she nodded to 
him, and asked with her eyes how he had come there. 

For answer he drew his sword, and was about to cut 
off the giant's head, when she stopped him quickly, and 
made signs to hide himself, as the giant was just begin- 
ning to wake. ' I smell the flesh of a man ! ' murmured 
he, stretching his great arms. 

' Why, how in the world could auy man get down 
here?' replied she; 'you had better go to sleep again.' 

So he turned over and went to sleep. Then the 
princess signed to Bensurdatu, who drew his sword and 
cut off the giant's head with such a blow that it flew into 
the corner. And the heart of the princess leapt within 
her, and she placed a golden crown on the head of 
Bensurdatu, and called him her deliverer. 

' Now show me where your sisters are,' he said, ' that 
I may free them also.' 

So the princess opened a door, and led him into 
another hall, wherein sat her next sister, guarded by a 
giant who was fast asleep. When the second princess 
saw them, she made a sign to them to hide themselves, 
for the giant was showing symptoms of waking. 

' I smell man's flesh ! ' murmured he, sleepily. 

4 Now, how could any man get down here? ' asked she; 
' go to sleep again/ And as soon as he closed his eyes, 
Bensurdatu stole out from his corner, and struck such a 

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110 THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 

blow at his head that it flew far, far away. The 
princess could not find words to thank Bensurd&tu for 
what he had done, and she too placed in his hand a 
golden crown. 

' Now show me where your youngest sister is,' said 
he, ' that 1 may free her also.' 

4 Ah ! that I fear you will never be able to do,' sighed 
they, ' for she is in the power of a serpent with seven 
heads.' 

' Take me to him,' replied Bensurdatu. 4 It will be a 
splendid fight.' 

Then the princess opened a door, and Bensurdatu 
passed through, and found himself in a hall that was even 
larger than the other two. And there stood the young- 
est sister, chained fast to the wall, and before her was 
stretched a serpent with seven heads, horrible to see. 
As Bensurdatu came forward it twisted all its seven heads 
in his direction, and then made a quick dart to snatch 
him within its grasp. But Bensurdatu drew his sword 
and laid about him, till the seven heads were rolling on 
the floor. Flinging down his sword he rushed to the 
princess and broke her chains, and she wept for joy, and 
embraced him, and took the golden crown from off her 
head, and placed it in his hand. 

' Now we must go back to the upper world,' said 
Bensurdatu, and led her to the bottom of the river. 
The other princesses were waiting there, and he tied the 
rope round the eldest, and rung his bell. And the 
generals above heard, and drew her gently up. They then 
unfastened the cord and threw it back into the river, 
and in a few moments the second princess stood beside 
her sister. 

So now there were left only Bensurdatu and the 
youngest princess. ' Dear Bensurdatu/ said she, ' do me 
a kindness, and let them draw you up before me. I dread 
the treachery of the generals.' 

4 No, no/ replied Bensurdatu, 'I certainly will not 

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THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 113 

leave you down here. There is nothing to fear from ray 
comrades.' 

4 If it is your wish I will go up then ; but first I swear 
that if you do not follow to marry me, I shall stay single 
for the rest of my life.' Then he bound the rope round 
her, and the generals drew her up. 

But instead of lowering the rope again into the river, 
envy at the courage and success of Bensurdatu so filled 
the hearts of the two generals, that they turned away 
and left him to perish. And, more than that, they 
threatened the princesses, and forced them to promise 
to tell their parents that it was the two generals who 
had set them free. ' And if they should ask you about 
Bensurdatu, you must say you have never seen him,' 
they added ; and the princesses, fearing for their lives, 
promised everything, and they rode back to court 
together. 

The king and queen were beside themselves with joy 
when they saw their dear children once more. But when 
the generals had told their stoiy, and the dangers they 
had run, the king declared that they had gained their 
reward, and that the two eldest princesses should become 
their wives. 

And now we must see what poor Bensurdatu was 
doing. 

lie waited patiently a long, long time, but when the 
rope never came back he knew he had been wrong, and 
that his comrades had betrayed him. 4 Ah, now I shall 
never reach the world again,' murmured he ; but being a 
brave man, and knowing that moaning his fate would 
profit him nothing, he rose and began to search through 
the three halls, where, perhaps, he might find something 
to help him. In the last one stood a dish, covered with 
food, which reminded him that lie was hungry, and he 
sat down and ate and drank. 

Months passed awa} T , when, one morning, as he was 
walking through the halls, he noticed a purse hanging 

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114 THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 

on the wall, which had never been there before. He took 
it down to examine it, and nearly let it fall with surprise 
when a voice came from the purse saying: 4 Wh at com- 
mands have you?' 

4 Oh, take me out of this horrible place, and up into the 
world again ; ' and in a moment he was t standing by the 
river bank, with the purse tightly grasped in his hand. 

4 Now let me have the most beautiful ship that ever 
was built, all manned and ready for sea.' And there was 
the ship, with a flag floating from its mast on which were 
the words, 4 King with the three crowns.' Then Bensur- 
datu climbed on board, and sailed away to the city where 
the three princesses dwelt; and when he reached the 
harbour he blew trumpets and beat drums, so that every 
one ran to the doors and windows. And the king 
heard too, and saw the beautiful vessel, and said to 
himself : ' That must indeed be a mighty monarch, for he 
has three crowns wdiile I have only one.' So he hastened 
to greet the stranger, and invited him to his castle, for, 
thought he, 4 this will be a fine husband for my young- 
est daughter. ' Now, the youngest princess had never 
married, and had turned a deaf ear to all her w r ooers. 

Such a long time had passed since Bensurdatu had 
left the palace, that the king never guessed for a moment 
that the splendidly clad stranger before him was the man 
whom he had so deeply mourned as dead. 4 Noble lord/ 
said he, 4 let us feast and make merry together, and then, 
if it seem good to you, do me the honour to take my 
youngest daughter to wife.' 

And Bensurdatu was glad, and they all sat down to a 
great feast, and there were great rejoicings. But only 
the youngest daughter was sad, for her thoughts were 
with Bensurdatu. After they arose from the table the 
king said to her, 4 Dear child, this mighty lord does you 
the honour to ask your hand in marriage.' 

4 Oh, father,' answered she, ' spare me, I pray you, for 
I desire to remain single.' 

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THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 115 

Then Bensurdatu turned to her, and said: 'And if I 
were Bensurdatu, would you give the same answer to 
me? ' 

And as she stood silently gazing at him, he added: 
4 Yes, I am Bensurdatu ; and this is my story.' 

The king and queen had their hearts stirred within 
them at the tale of his adventures, and when he had 
ended the king stretched out his hand, and said : l Dear 
Bensurdatu, my youngest daughter shall indeed be your 
wife ; and when I die my crown shall be yours. As for 
the men who have betrayed you, they shall leave the 
country and you shall see them no more.' 

And the wedding feast was ordered, and rejoicings 
were held for three days over the marriage of Bensur- 
datu and the youngest princess. 

[From the Sicilimiische M'drchen.'] 



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116 



THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 

Once upon a time, there was a king who had three 
sons. Now it happened that one day the three princes 
went out hunting in a large forest at some distance from 
their father's palace, and the youngest prince lost his way, 
so his brothers had to return home without him. 

For four days the prince wandered through the glades 
of the forest, sleeping on moss beneath the stars at night, 
and by day living on roots and wild berries. At last, on 
the morning of the fifth day, he came to a large open 
space in the middle of the forest, and here stood a stately 
palace ; but neither within nor without was there a trace of 
human life. The prince entered the open door and wan- 
dered through the deserted rooms without seeing a living 
soul. At last he came on a great hall, and in the centre 
of the hall was a table spread with dainty dishes and 
choice wines. The prince sat down, and satisfied his 
hunger and thirst, and immediately afterwards the table 
disappeared from his sight. This struck the prince as 
very strange ; but though he continued his search through 
all the rooms, upstairs and down, he could find no one to 
speak to. At last, just as it was beginning to get dark, he 
heard steps in the distance and he saw an old man coming 
towards him up the stairs. 

4 What are you doing wandering about my castle?' 
asked the old man. 

To whom the prince replied : 1 1 lost my way 
hunting in the forest. If you will take me into your 

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THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 117 

service, I should like to stay with you, and will serve you 
faithfully.' 

' Very well,' said the old man. ' You may enter my 
service. You will have to keep the stove always lit, you 
will have to fetch the wood for it from the forest, and 
you will have the charge of the black horse in the stables. 
I will pay } t ou a florin a day, and at meal times you will 
always find the table in the hall spread with food and wine, 
and you can eat and drink as much as you require.' 

The prince was satisfied, and he entered the old man's 
service, and promised to see that there was always wood 
on the stove, so that the fire should never die out. Now, 
though he did not know it, his new master was a magician, 
and the flame of the stove was a magic fire, and if it had 
gone out the magician would have lost a great part of his 
power. 

One day the prince forgot, and let the fire burn so 
low that it very nearly burnt out. Just as the flame 
was flickering the old man stormed into the room. 

' What do you mean by letting the fire burn so low ? ' 
he growled. 'I have only arrived in the nick of time.' 
And while the prince hastily threw a log on the stove and 
blew on the ashes to kindle the glow, his master gave him 
a severe box on the ear, and warned him that if ever it 
happened again it would fare badly with him. 

One day the prince was sitting disconsolate in the 
stables when, to his surprise, the black horse spoke to 
him. 

' Come into my stall,' it said, ' I have something to say 
to you. Fetch my bridle and saddle from that cupboard 
and put them on me. Take the bottle that is beside 
them ; it contains an ointment which will make your hair 
shine like pure gold; then put all the wood you can 
gather together on to the stove, till it is piled quite high up.' 

So the prince did what the horse told him ; he saddled 
and bridled the horse, he put the ointment on his hair 
till it shone like gold, and he made such a big fire in the 

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118 THE MAGICIAN'S HOUSE 

stove that the flames sprang up and set fire to the roof, 
and in a few minutes the palace was burning like a huge 
bonfire. 

Then he hurried back to the stables, and the horse 
said to him : ' There is one thing more you must do. 
In the cupboad you will find a looking-glass, a brush 
and a riding-whip. Bring them with you, mount on 
my back, and ride as hard as you can, for now the 
house is burning merrily.' 

The prince did as the horse bade him. Scarcely had 
he got into the saddle than the horse was off and away, 
galloping at such a pace that, in a short time, the forest 
and all the country belonging to the magician lay far 
behind them. 

In the meantime the magician returned to his palace, 
which he found in smouldering ruins. In vain he called 
for his servant. At last he went to look for him in the 
stables, and when he discovered that the black horse had 
disappeared too, he at once suspected that they had gone 
together; so he mounted a roan horse that was in the 
next stall, and set out in pursuit. 

As the prince rode, the quick ears of his horse heard 
the sound of pursuing feet. 

' Look behind you,' he said, ( and see if the old man is 
following/ And the prince turned in his saddle and saw 
a cloud like smoke or dust in the distance. 
1 W r e must hurry,' said the horse. 

After they had galloped for some time, the horse said 
again: ' Look behind, and see if he is still at some 
distance.' 

4 He is quite close,' answered the prince. 
1 Then throw the looking-glass on the ground,'* said the 
horse. So the prince threw it ; and when the magician came 
up, the roan horse stepped on the mirror, and crash! his 
foot went through the glass, and he stumbled and fell, 
cutting his feet so badly that there was nothing for the 
old man to do but to go slowly back with him to the 

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THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 



119 



stables, and put new shoes on bis feet. Then they started 
once more in pursuit of the prince, for the magician 
set great value on the horse, and was determined not to 
lose it. 




In the meanwhile the prince had gone a great dis- 
tance ; but the quick ears of the black horse detected the 
sound of following feet from afar. 

4 Dismount/ he said to the prince ; l put your ear to 
the ground, and tell me if you do not hear a sound.' 

So the prince dismounted and listened. i I seem to 
hear the earth tremble,' he said ; ; I think he cannot be 
very far off.' 

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120 THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 

' Mount me at once/ answered the horse, ' and I will 
gallop as fast as I can.' And he set off so fast that the 
earth seemed to fly from under his hoofs. 

k Look back once more/ he said, after a short time, 
' and see if he is in sight.' 

4 I see a cloud and a flame/ answered the prince ; 
' but a long way off/ 

' We must make haste/ said the horse. And shortly 
after he said : ' Look back again ; he can't be far off 
now/ ' 

The prince turned in his saddle, and exclaimed : ' He 
is close behind us, in a minute the flame from his horse's 
nostrils will reach us.' 

1 Then throw the brush on the ground/ said the horse. 

And the prince threw it, and in an instant the brush 
was changed into such a thick wood that even a bird 
could not have got through it, and when the old man got 
up to it the roan horse came suddenly to a stand-still, 
not able to advance a step into the thick tangle. So 
there was nothing for the magician to do but to retrace 
his steps, to fetch an axe, with which he cut himself a 
way through the wood. But it took him some time, 
during which the prince and the black horse got on well 
ahead. 

But once more they heard the sound of pursuing 
feet. ' Look back/ said the black horse, ' and see if he 
is following.' 

'Yes/ answered the prince, 'this time I hear him 
distinctly/ 

i Let us hurry on,' said the horse. And a little later 
he said : ' Look back now, and see if he is in sight/ 

4 Yes/ said the prince, turning round, ' I see the flame ; 
he is close behind us/ 

4 Then you must throw down the whip/ answered 
the horse. And in the twinkling of an eye the whip was 
changed into a broad river. AYhen the old man got up to 
it he urged the roan horse into the water, but as the water 

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THE MAGICIAN'S HOUSE 121 

mounted higher and higher, the magic flame which gave 
the magician all his power grew smaller and smaller, till, 
with a fizz, it went out, and the old man and the roan 
horse sank in the river and disappeared. When the 
prince looked round they were no longer to be seen. 

4 Now,' said the horse, 6 you may dismount ; there is 
nothing more to fear, for the magician is dead. Beside 
that brook you will find a willow wand. Gather it, and 
strike the earth with it, and it will open and you will see 
a door at your feet.' 

When the prince had struck the earth with the wand 
a door appeared, and opened into a large vaulted stone 
hall. 

4 Lead me into that hall,' said the horse, ' I will stay 
there ; but you must go through the fields till you reach 
a garden, in the midst of which is a king's palace. When 
you get there you must ask to be taken into the king's 
service. Good-bye, and don't forget me.' 

So they parted; but first the horse made the prince 
promise not to let anyone in the palace see his golden 
hair. So he bound a scarf round it, like a turban, and the 
prince set out through the fields, till he reached a beautiful 
garden, and beyond the garden he saw the walls and 
towers of a stately palace. At the garden gate he met 
the gardener, who asked him what he wanted. 

c I want to take service with the king,' replied the 
prince. 

4 Well, you may stay and work under me in the garden/ 
said the man ; for as the prince was dressed like a 
poor man, he could not tell that he was a king's son. i I 
need someone to weed the ground and to sweep the dead 
leaves from the paths. You shall have a florin a day, a 
horse to help you to cart the leaves away, and food and 
drink.' 

So the prince consented, and set about his work. But 
when his food was given to him he only ate half of it ; 
the rest he carried to the vaulted hall beside the brook, 

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122 THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 

and gave to the black horse. And this he did every day, 
and the horse thanked him for his faithful friendship. 

One evening, as they were together, after his work in 
the garden was over, the horse said to him : ' To-morrow 
a large company of princes and great lords are coming 
to your king's palace. They are coming from far and 
near, as wooers for the three princesses. They will all 
stand in a row in the courtyard of the palace, and 
the three princesses will come out, and each will carry a 
diamond apple in her hand, which slie will throw into 
the air. At whosesoever feet the apple falls he will be the 
bridegroom of that princess. You must be close by in the 
garden at your work. The apple of the youngest princess, 
who is much the most beautiful of the sisters, will roll 
past the wooers and stop in front of } T ou. Pick it up at 
once and put it in your pocket/ 

The next day, when the wooers were all assembled in 
the courtyard of the castle, everything happened just as 
the horse had said. The princesses threw the apples into 
the air, and the diamond apple of the youngest princess 
rolled past all the wooers, out on to the garden, and stopped 
at the feet of the young gardener, who was busy sweep- 
ing the leaves away. In a moment he had stooped down, 
picked up the apple and put it in his pocket. As he 
stooped the scarf round his head slipped a little to one 
side, and the princess caught sight of his golden hair, and 
loved him from that moment. 

But the king was very sad, for his youngest daughter 
was the one he loved best. But there was no help for it ; 
and the next day a threefold wedding was celebrated at 
the palace, and after the wedding the youngest princess 
returned with her husband to the small hut in the garden 
where he lived. 

Some time after this the people of a neighbouring 
country went to war with the king, and he set out to battle, 
accompanied by the husbands of his two eldest daughters 
mounted on stately steeds. But the husband of the 

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THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 125 

youngest daughter had nothing but the old broken-down 
horse which helped him in his garden work; and the king, 
who was ashamed of this son-in-law, refused to give him 
any other. 

So as he was determined not to be left behind, he 
went into the garden, mounted the sorry nag. and set out. 
But scarcely had he ridden a few yards before the horse 
stumbled and fell. So he dismounted and went down to 
the brook, to where the black horse lived in the vaulted 
hall. And the horse said to him: 'Saddle and bridle 
me, and then go into the next room and you will find 
a suit of armour and a sword. Put them on, and we 
will ride forth together to battle.' 

And the prince did as he was told ; and when he had 
mounted the horse his armour glittered in the sun, and 
he looked so brave and handsome, that no one would 
have recognised him as the gardener who swept away the 
dead leaves from the paths. The horse bore him away at 
a great pace, and when they reached the battle-field they 
saw that the king was losing the day, so many of his 
warriors had been slain. But when the warrior on his 
black charger and in glittering armour appeared on the 
scene, hewing right and left with his sword, the enemy 
were dismayed and lied in all directions, leaving the 
king master of the field. Then the king and his two 
sons-in-law, when they saw their deliverer, shouted, and 
all that was left of the army joined in the cry : ' A god 
has come to our rescue ! ' And they would have sur- 
rounded him, but his black horse rose in the air and bore 
him out of their sight. 

Soon after this, part of the country rose in rebellion 
against the king, and once more he and his two sons-in- 
law had to fare forth to battle. And the son-in-law who 
was disguised as a gardener wanted to fight too. So he 
came to the king and said : i Dear father, let me ride 
with you to fight your enemies.' 

4 1 don't want a blockhead like you to fight for me,' 

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12G THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 

answered the king. ' Besides, I have n't got a horse fit for 
you. But see, there is a carter on the road carting hay, 
you may take his horse.' 

So the prince took the carter's horse, but the poor 
beast was old and tired, and after it had gone a few yards 
it stumbled and fell. So the prince returned sadly to the 
garden and watched the king ride forth at the head of 
the army accompanied by his two sons-in-law. When 
they were out of sight the prince betook himself to the 
vaulted chamber by the brook-side, and having taken 
counsel of the faithful black horse, he put on the 
glittering suit of armour, and was borne on the back of 
the horse through the air, to where the battle was being 
fought. And once more he routed the king's enemies, 
hacking to right and left with his sword. And again 
they all cried: 'A god has come to our rescue!' But 
when they tried to detain him the black horse rose in the 
air and bore him out of their sight. 

"When the king and his sons-in-law returned home 
they could talk of nothing but the hero who had fought 
for them, and all wondered who he could be. 

Shortly afterwards the king of a neighbouring country 
declared Avar, and once more the king and his sons-in-law 
and his subjects had to prepare themselves for battle, and 
once more the prince begged to ride with them, but the king 
said he had no horse to spare for him. ' But,' he added, 
' you may take the horse of the woodman who brings the 
wood from the forest, it is good enough for you.' 

So the prince took the woodman's horse, but it was 
so old and useless that it could not carry him beyond the 
castle gates. So he betook himself once more to the 
vaulted hall, where the black horse had prepared a still 
more magnificent suit of armour for him than the one 
he had worn on the previous occasions, and when he had 
put it on, and mounted on the back of the horse, he bore 
him straight to the battle-field, and once more he scat- 
tered the king's enemies, fighting single-handed in their 



:mg s enemies, lighting single 

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THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE 



127 



ranks, and they fled in all directions. But it happened 
that one of the enemy struck with his sword and wounded 
the prince in the leg. And the king took his own pocket- 
handkerchief, with his name and crown embroidered on it, 




n^Wry^'fjfj^ j 



and bound it round the wounded leg. . And the king would 
fain have compelled him to mount in a litter and be 
carried straight to the palace, and two of his knights 
were to lead the black charger to the ro3 T al stables. But 
the prince put ^^Med^mB^Wof^^ 5 faitbful 



128 THE MAGIC I AX'S HORSE 

horse, and managed to pull himself up into the saddle, 
and the horse mounted into the air with him. Then they 
all shouted and cried : ; The warrior who has fought for 
us is a god ! He must be a god.' 

And throughout all the kingdom nothing else was 
spoken about, and all the people said : : Who can the 
hero be who has fought for us in so many battles? He 
cannot be a man, he must be a god.' 

And the king said : k If only I could see him once 
more, and if it turned out that after all he was a man 
and not a god, I would reward him with half 1113^ king- 
dom/ 

Now when the prince reached his home — the gar- 
deners hut where he lived with his wife — he was weary, 
and he lay down on his bed and slept. And his wife 
noticed the handkerchief bound round his wounded leg, 
and she wondered what it could be. Then she looked 
at it more closely and saw in the corner that it was em- 
broidered with her father's name and the royal crown. 
So she ran straight to the palace and told her father. 
And he and his two sons-in-law followed her back to her 
house, and there the gardener lay asleep on his bed. And 
the scarf that he always wore bound round his head had 
slipped off, and his golden hair gleamed on the pillow. 
And they all recognised that this was the hero who had 
fought and won so many battles for them. 

Then there was great rejoicing throughout the land, 
and the king rewarded his son-in-law with half of his 
kingdom, and he and his wife reigned happily over it. 



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120 



THE LITTLE GRAY MAN 



A nun, a coin) try man, and a blacksmith were once 
wandering through the world together. One day they lost 
their way in a thick, dark forest, and were thankful when 
they saw, in the distance, the walls of a house, where they 
hoped they might obtain refuge for the night. When 
they got close to the house they found that it was an old 
deserted castle, fast falling into ruins, but with some of 
the rooms in it still habitable. As they were homeless 
they determined to take up their abode in the castle, aud 
they arranged that one of them should always stay at 
home and keep house, while the other two went out into 
the world to seek their fortunes. 

The lot of remaining at home fell first to the nun, and 
when the countryman and the blacksmith had gone out 
into the wood, she set to work, tidied up the house, and 
prepared all the food for the day. As her companions did 
not come home for their mid-day meal, she ate up her 
own portion and put the rest in the oven to keep warm. 
Just as she was sitting down to sew, the door opened 
and a little gray man came in, and, standing before her, 
said : 4 Oh ! how cold I am ! ' 

The nun was very sorry for him, and said at once: ' Sit 
down by the fire and warm yourself.' 

The little man did as he was told, and soon called out: 
' Oil ! how hungry I am ! ' 

The nun answered: ' There is food in the oven, help 
yourself ' 

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130 THE LITTLE GRAY MAN 

The little man did not need to be told twice, for he set 
to work and ate up everything with the greatest possible 
despatch. When the nun saw this she was very angry, 
and scolded the dwarf because he had left nothing for her 
companions. 

The little man resented her words, and flew into 
such a passion that he seized the nun, beat her, and 
threw her first against one wall and then against the 
other. When he had nearly killed her he left her lying 
on the floor, and hastily walked out of the house. 

In the evening the countryman and the blacksmith 
returned home, and when they found, on demanding their 
dinner, that there was nothing left for them, they 
reproached the nun bitterly, and refused to believe her 
when she tried to tell them what had happened. 

The next day the counti^man asked to be left in 
charge of the house, and promised that, if he remained at 
home, no one should go hungry to bed. So the other 
two went out into the forest, and the countryman having 
prepared the food for thecla} 7 , ate up his own portion, and 
put the rest in the oven. Just as he had finished clearing 
away, the door opened and the little gray man walked 
in, and this time he had two heads. He shook and 
trembled as before, and exclaimed : ' Oh! how cold I 
am ! ' 

The countryman, who was frightened out of his wits, 
begged him to draw near the fire and warm himself. 

Soon after the dwarf looked greedily round, and said: 
4 Oh ! how hungry I am ! ' 

' There is food in the oven, so you can eat,' replied the 
countryman. 

Then the little man fell to with both his heads, and 
soon finished the last morsel. 

When the countryman scolded him for this pro- 
ceeding he treated him exactly as he had done the nun, 
and left the poor fellow more dead than alive. 

Now when the blacksmith came home with the nun 

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THE LITTLE GRAY MAN 133 

in the evening, and found nothing for supper, lie flew into 
a passion ; and swore that he would stay at home the 
following day, and that no one should go supperless to 
bed. 

When day dawned the countryman and the nun set 
out into the wood, and the blacksmith prepared all 
the food for the day as the others had done. Again the 
gray dwarf entered the house without knocking, and this 
time he had three heads. When he complained of cold, 
the blacksmith told him to sit near the fire; and when he 
said he was hungry, the blacksmith put some food on a 
plate and gave it to him. The dwarf made short work of 
what was provided for him, and then, looking greedily 
round with his six eyes, he demanded more. When the 
blacksmith refused to give him another morsel, he flew 
into a terrible rage, and proceeded to treat him in the 
same way as he had treated his companions. 

But the blacksmith was a match for him, for he seized 
a huge hammer and struck off two of the dwarf's heads 
with it. The little man yelled with pain and rage, and 
hastily fled from the house. The blacksmith ran after 
him, and pursued him for a long way ; but at last they 
came to an iron door, and through it the little creature 
vanished. The door shut behind him, and the blacksmith 
had to give up the pursuit and return home. He found 
that the nun and the countryman had come back in the 
meantime, and they were much delighted when he placed 
some food before them, and showed them the two heads 
he had struck off witli his hammer. The three com- 
panions determined there and then to free themselves 
from the power of the gray dwarf, and the very next day 
they set to work to find him. 

They had to walk a long way, and to search for many 
hours, before they found the iron door through which the 
dwarf had disappeared ; and when they had found it they 
had the greatest difficulty in opening it. When at last 
they succeeded in forcing the lock, they entered a large hall, 

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134 THE LITTLE GRAY MAN 

in which sat a young and lovely girl, working at a table. 
The moment she saw the nun, the blacksmith, and the 
countryman, she fell at their feet, thanking them with 
tears in her eyes for having set her free. She told them 
that she was a king's daughter, who had been shut up in 
the castle by a mighty magician. The day before, just 
about noon, she had suddenly felt the magic power over 
her disappear, and ever since that moment she had 
eagerly awaited the arrival of her deliverers. She went 
on to say that there was yet another princess shut up in 
the castle, who had also fallen under the might of the 
magician. 

They wandered through many halls and rooms till at 
last they found the second princess, who was quite as 
grateful as the first, and thanked the three companions 
most warmly for having set her free. 

Then the princesses told their rescuers that a great 
treasure lay hidden in the cellars of the castle, but that 
it was carefully guarded by a fierce and terrible dog. 

Nothing daunted, they all went down below at once, 
and found the fierce animal mounting guard over the 
treasure as the princesses had said. But one blow from 
the blacksmith's hammer soon made an end of the 
monster, and they found themselves in a vaulted chamber 
full of gold and silver and precious stones. Beside the 
treasure stood a young and handsome man. who advanced 
to meet them, and thanked the nun, the blacksmith, and 
the countryman, for having freed him from the magic 
spell he was under. He told them that he was a king's 
son, who had been banished to this castle by a wicked 
magician, and that he had been changed into the three- 
headed dwarf. AVhen he had lost two of his heads the 
magic power over the two princesses had been removed, 
and when the blacksmith had killed the horrible dog, then 
he too had been set free. 

To show his gratitude he begged the three companions 
to divide the treasure between them, which they did ; 
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THE LITTLE GRAY MAN 135 

but there was so much of it that it took a very long 
time. 

The princesses, too, were so grateful to their rescuers, 
that one married the blacksmith, and the other the 
countryman. 

Then the prince claimed the nun as his bride, and they 
all lived happily together till they died. 

[From the German, Kletke.] 



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136 



HERB LAZARUS AXD THE DBAKEX 

Once upon a time there was a cobbler called Lazarus, 
who was very fond of honey. One day, as he ate some 
while he sat at work, the flies collected in such numbers 
that with one blow he killed forty. Then he went and 
ordered a sword to be made for him, on which he had 
written these words : ' With one blow 1 have slain forty.' 
When the sword was ready he took it and went out into 
the world, and when he was two days' journey from home 
he came to a spring, by which he laid himself down and 
slept. 

Xow in that country there dwelt Draken, one of 
whom came to the spring to draw water: there he found 
Lazarus sleeping, and read what was written on his 
sword. Then he went back to his people and told them 
what he had seen, and they all advised him to make 
fellowship with this powerful stranger. , JSo the Draken 
returned to the spring, awoke Lazarus, and said that if 
it was agreeable to him they should make fellowship 
together. 

Lazarus answered that he was willing, and after a 
priest had blessed the fellowship, they returned to- 
gether to the other Draken. and Lazarus dwelt among 
them. After some days they told him that it was their 
custom to take it in turns to bring wood and water, and 
as he was now of their company, he must take his turn. 
They went first for water and wood, but at last it came 
to be Lazarus's turn to go for water. The Draken had a 
great leathern bag. holding two hundred measures of 

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IIERR LAZARUS AXD THE DRAKEN 137 



water. This Lazarus could only, with great difficulty, 
drag empty to the spring, and because he could not carry 
it back full, he did not fill it at all, but, instead, he dug up 
the ground all round the spring. 

As Lazarus remained so long away, the Draken sent 




jH^l 



one of their number to see what had become of him. and 
when this one came to the spring, Lazarus said to him : 
1 We will no more plague ourselves by carrying water 
every day. I will bring the entire spring home at once, 
and so we shall be freed from this burden.' 

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138 IIERR LAZARUS AND THE DRAKEN 

But the Draken called out: 'On no account, Hen* 
Lazarus, else we shall all die of thirst; rather will we 
carry the water ourselves in turns, and } t ou alone shall 
be exempt.' 

Next it comes to be Lazarus's turn to bring the wood. 
Now the Draken, when they fetched the wood, always 
took an entire tree on their shoulder, and so carried it 
home. Because Lazarus could not imitate them in this, he 
went to the forest, tied all the trees together with a thick 
rope, and remained in the forest till evening. Again the 
Draken sent one of them after him to see what had 
become of him, and when this one asked what he was 
about, Lazarus answered: 'I will bring the entire 
forest home at once, so that after that we ma} T have 
rest.' 

But the Draken called out : ' By no means, Ilerr 
Lazarus, else we shall all die of cold: rather will we go 
ourselves to bring wood, and let you be free.' And then 
the Draken tore up one tree, threw it over his shoulder, 
and so carried it home. 

AVhen they had lived together some time, the Draken 
became weary of Lazarus, and agreed among them- 
selves to kill him ; each Draken, in the night while 
Lazarus slept, should strike him a blow with a hatchet. 
But Lazarus heard of this scheme, and when the evening 
came, he took a log of wood, covered it with his cloak, 
laid it in the place where he usually slept, and then 
hid himself. In the night the Draken came, and each 
one hit the log a blow with his hatchet, till it flew in 
pieces. 

Then they believed their object was gained, and they 
lay down again. 

Thereupon Lazarus took the log, threw it away, and 
laid himself down in its stead. Towards dawn, he began 
to groan, and when the Draken heard that, they asked 
what ailed him, to which he made answer: 'The gnats 
have stung me horribly. ' 

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IIERR LAZARUS AND THE DRAKEN 139 

This terrified the Draken, for they believed that 
Lazarus took their blows for gnat-stings, and they 
determined at any price to get rid of him. . Next 
morning, therefore, they asked him if he had not wife or 
child, and said that if he would like to go and visit them 
they would give him a bag of gold to take away with 
hiin. lie agreed willingly to this, but asked further that 
one of the Draken should go with him to carry the bag 
of gold. They consented, and one was sent with him. 

A\ Tien they had come to within a short distance of 
Lazarus's house, he said to the Draken : * Stop here, in 
the meantime, for I must go on in front and tie up my 
children, lest they eat you.' 

So he went and tied his children with strong ropes, 
and said to them: 'As soon as the Draken comes in 
sight, call out as loud as you can, ''Drakenflesh! 
Drakenflesh ! " ' 

So, when the Draken appeared, the children cried out; 
'Drakenflesh! Drakenflesh!' and this so terrified the 
Draken that he let the bag fall and fled. 

On the road he met a fox, which asked him why he 
seemed so frightened. He answered that he was afraid 
of the children of Hen* Lazarus, who had been within a 
hair-breadth of eating him up. 

But the fox laughed, and said : ' What ! you were 
afraid of the children of Herr Lazarus? He had two 
fowls, one of which I ate yesterday, the other I will go and 
fetch now — If you do not believe me, come and see for 
yourself ; but you must first tie yourself on to my tail.' 

The Draken then tied himself on to the fox's tail, and 
went back thus with it to Lazarus's house, in order to 
see what it would arrange. There stood Lazarus with 
his gun raised ready to fire, who, when lie saw the fox 
coming along with the Draken, called out to the fox : 
4 13 id I not tell you. to bring me all the Draken, and you 
bring me only one?' 

When the ^rak^^^^t ^^^ t V the right- 



140 IIERR LAZARUS AND THE DRAKE JSf 

about at once, and ran so fast that the fox was clashed in 
pieces against the stones. 

When Lazarus had got quit of the Draken he built 
himself, with their gold, a magnificent house, in which he 
spent the rest of his days in great enjoyment. 



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141 



THE STORY OF THE QUEEN OF THE 
FLOWERY ISLES 

There once lived a queen who ruled over the Flowery 
Isles, whose husband, to her extreme grief, died a few 
years after their marriage. On being left a widow she 
devoted herself almost entirely to the education of the 
two charming princesses, her only children. The elder 
of them was so lovely that as she grew up her mother 
greatly feared she would excite the jealousy of the 
Queen of all the Isles, who prided herself on being the 
most beautiful woman in the world, and insisted on all 
rivals bowing before her charms. 

In order the better to gratify her vanity she had urged 
the king, her husband, to make war on all the surround- 
ing islands, and as his greatest wish was to please her, 
the only conditions he imposed on any newly-conquered 
country was that each princess of every royal house 
should attend his court as soon as she was fifteen years 
old, and do homage to the transcendent beauty of his 
queen. 

The Queen of the Flowery Isles, well aware of this 
law, was fully determined to present her daughter to the 
proud queen as soon as her fifteenth birthday was 
past. 

The queen herself had heard a rumour of the young 
princess's great beauty, and awaited her visit with some 
anxiety, which soon developed into jealousy, for when 
the interview took place it was impossible not to be 
dazzled by such radiant charms, and she was obliged to 

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142 THE QUEEN OF THE FLOWERY ISLES 

admit that she had never beheld anyone so exquisitely 
lovely. 

Of course she thought in her own mind ' excepting 
myself! ' for nothing could have made her believe it 
possible that anyone could eclipse her. 

]>ut the outspoken admiration of the entire court 
soon undeceived her, and made her so angry that she 
pretended illness and retired to her own rooms, so as to 
avoid witnessing the princess's triumph. She also sent 
word to the Queen of the Flowery Isles that she was sorry 
not to be well enough to see her again, and advised 
her to return to her own states with the princess, her 
daughter. 

This message was entrusted to one of the great ladies 
of the court, who was an old friend of the Queen of the 
Flowery Isles, and who advised her not to wait to take a 
formal leave but to go home as fast as she couldo 

The Queen was not slow to take the hint, and lost 
no time in obeying it. Being well aware of the magic 
powers of the incensed queen, she warned her daughter 
that she was threatened by some great danger if she left 
the palace for any reason whatever during the next six 
months. 

The princess promised obedience, and no pains were 
spared to make the time pass pleasantly for her. 

The six months were nearly at an end, and on the 
very last day a splendid fete was to take place in a 
lovely meadow quite near the palace. The princess, who 
had been able to watch all the preparations from her 
window, implored her mother to let her go as far as the 
meadow ; and the queen, thinking all risks must be over, 
consented, and promised to take her there herself. 

The whole court was delighted to see their much-loved 
princess at liberty, and everyone set off in high glee to 
join in the fete. 

The princess, overjoyed at being once more in the 
open air, was walking a little in advance of her party 

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THE QUEEN OF THE FLOWERY ISLES 145 

when suddenly the earth opened under her feet and 
closed agaiu after swallowing her up ! 

The queen fainted away with terror, and the younger 
princess burst into floods of tears and could hardly be 
dragged away from the fatal spot, whilst the court was 
overwhelmed with horror at so great a calamity. 

Orders were given to bore the earth to a great depth, 
but in vain ; not a trace of the vanished princess was to 
be found. 

She sank right through the earth and found herself in 
a desert place with nothing but rocks and trees and 
no sign of any human being. The only living creature 
she saw was a very pretty little dog, who ran up to her 
and at once began to caress her. She took him in her 
arms, and after playing with him for a little put him 
down again, when he started off in front of her, looking 
round from time to time as though begging her to follow. 

She let him lead her on, and presently reached a little 
hill, from which she saw a valley full of lovely fruit trees, 
bearing flowers and fruit together. The ground was also 
covered with fruit and flowers, and in the middle of the 
valley rose a fountain surrounded by a velvety lawn. 

The princess hastened to this charming spot, and 
sitting down on the grass began to think over the mis- 
fortune which had befallen her, and burst into tears 
as she reflected on her sad condition. 

The fruit and clear fresh water would, she knew, 
prevent her from dying of hunger or thirst, but how 
could she escape if any wild beast appeared and tried to 
devour her? 

At length, having thought over every possible evil 
which could happen, the princess tried to distract her 
mind by playing with the little dog. She spent the 
whole day near the fountain, but as night drew on she 
wondered what she should do, when she noticed that the 
little dog was pulling at her dress. 

She paid no heed to him at first, but as he continued 

10 

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14G THE QUEEN OF THE FLOWERY ISLES 

to pull her dress and then run a few steps in one par- 
ticular direction, she at last decided to follow him ; he 
stopped before a rock with a large opening in the centre, 
which he evidently wished her to enter. 

The princess did so and discovered a large and 
beautiful cave lit up by the brilliancy of the stones with 
which it was lined, with a little couch covered with soft 
moss in one corner. She lay down on it and the dog at 
once nestled at her feet* Tired out with all she had gone 
through she soon fell asleep. 

Next morning she was awakened very early by the 
songs of many birds. The little dog woke up too, and 
sprang round her in his most caressing manner. She 
got up and went outside, the dog as before running on in 
front and turning back constantly to take her dress and 
draw her on. 

She let him have his way and he soon led her back to 
the beautiful garden where she had spent part of the day 
before. Here she ate some fruit, drank some water of 
the fountain, and felt as if she had made an excellent 
meal. She walked about amongst the flowers, played 
with her little dog, and at night returned to sleep in 
the cave. 

In this way the princess passed several months, and 
as her first terrors died away she gradually became more 
resigned to her fate. The little dog, too, was a great 
comfort, and her constant companion. 

One day she noticed that he seemed very sad and did 
not even caress her as usual. Fearing he might be ill 
she carried him to a spot where she had seen him eat 
some particular herbs, hoping they might do him good, 
but he would not touch them. He spent all the night, 
too, sighing and groaning as if in great pain. 

At last the princess fell asleep, and when she awoke 
her first thought was for her little pet, but not finding 
him at her feet as usual, she ran out of the cave to 
look for him. As she stepped out of the cave she caught 

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THE QUEEN OF THE FLOWERY ISLES 149 

sight of an old man, who hurried away so fast that she 
had barely time to see him before he disappeared. 

This was a fresh surprise and almost as great a shock 
as the loss of her little dog, who had been so faithful to 
her ever since the first day she had seen him. She 
wondered if he had strayed away or if the old man had 
stolen him. 

Tormented by all kinds of thoughts and fears she 
wandered on, when suddenly she felt herself wrapped in 
a thick cloud and carried through the air. She made no 
resistance and before very long found herself, to her great 
surprise, in an avenue leading to the palace in which she 
had been born. No sign of the cloud anywhere. 

As the princess approached the palace she perceived 
that everyone was dressed in black, and she was filled with 
fear as to the cause of this mourning. She hastened on 
and was soon recognised and welcomed with shouts of 
joy. Her sister hearing the cheers ran out and embraced 
the wanderer, with tears of happiness, telling her that the 
shock of her disappearance had been so terrible that their 
mother had only survived it a few days. Since then the 
younger princess had worn the crown, w F hich she now 
resigned to her sister to whom it by right belonged. 

But the elder wished to refuse it, and would only 
accept the crown on condition that her sister should 
share in all the power. 

The first acts of the new queen w r ere to do honour 
to the memory of her dear mother and to shower every 
mark of generous affection on her sister. Then, being 
still very grieved at the loss of her little dog, she had a 
careful search made for him in every country, and when 
nothing could be heard of him she was so grieved that 
she offered half her kingdom to whoever should restore 
him to her. 

Many gentlemen of the court, tempted by the thought 
of such a reward, set off in all directions in search of the 
dog ; but all returned empty-handed to the queen, who, 

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150 THE QUEEN OF THE FLO WE BY ISLES 

in despair, announced that since life was unbearable with- 
out her little dog, she would give her hand in marriage 
to the man who brought him back. 

The prospect of such apprize quickly turned the court 
into a desert, nearly every courtier starting on the quest. 
Whilst they were away the queen was informed one day 
that a very ill-looking man wished to speak with her. 
She desired hiin to be shown into a room where she was 
sitting with her sister. 

On entering her presence he said that he was prepared 
to give the queen her little dog if she on her side was 
read} 7 to keep her word. 

The princess was the first to speak. She said that 
the queen had no right to marry without the consent of 
the nation, and that on so important an occasion the 
general council must be summoned. The queen could 
not say anything against this statement; but she ordered 
an apartment in the palace to be given to the man, and 
desired the council to meet on the following day. 

Next day, accordingly, the council assembled in great 
state, and by the princess's advice it was decided to offer 
the man a large sum of money for the dog, and should 
he refuse it, to banish him from the kingdom without 
seeing the queen again. The man refused the price 
offered and left the hall. 

The princess informed the queen of what had passed, 
and the queen approved of all, but added that as she was 
her own mistress she had made up her mind to abdicate 
her throne, and to wander through the world till she had 
found her little dog. 

The princess was much alarmed by such a resolution, 
and implored the queen to change her mind. Whilst 
they were discussing the subject, one of the chamberlains 
appeared to inform the queen that the bay was covered 
with ships. r The two sisters ran to the balcony, and saw 
a large fleet in full sail for the port. 

In a little time they came to the conclusion that the 

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THE QUEEN OF THE FLOWERY ISLES 151 

ships must come from a friendly nation, as every vessel 
was decked with gay flags, streamers, and pennons, and 
the way was led by a small ship flying a great white flag 
of peace. 

The queen sent a special messenger to the harbour, 
and was soon informed that the fleet belonged to the Prince 
of the Emerald Isles, who begged leave to land in her 
kingdom, and to present his humble respects to her. The 
queen at once sent some of the court dignitaries to 
receive the prince and bid him welcome. 

She awaited him seated on her throne, but rose on 
his appearance, and went a few steps to meet him ; then 
begged him to be seated, and for about an hour kept him 
in close conversation. 

The prince was then conducted to a splendid suite of 
apartments, and the next day he asked for a private 
audience. He was admitted to the queen's own sitting- 
room, where she was sitting alone with her sister. 

After the first greetings the prince informed the queen 
that he had some very strange things to tell her, which 
she only would know to be true. 

4 Madam,' said he, ' I am a neighbour of the Queen 
of all the Isles ; and a small isthmus connects part of my 
states with hers. One day, when hunting a stag, I had 
the misfortune to meet her, and not recognising her, I 
did not stop to salute her with all proper ceremony. You, 
Madam, know better than anyone how revengeful she 
is, and that she is also a mistress of magic. I learnt 
both facts to my cost. The ground opened under my 
feet, and I soon found myself in a far distant region 
transformed into a little dog, under which shape I had 
the honour to meet your Majesty. After six months, the 
queen's vengeance not being yet satisfied, she further 
changed me into a hideous old man, and in this form I 
was so afraid of being unpleasant in your eyes, Madam, 
that I hid myself in the depths of the woods, where I 
spent three months more. At the end of that time I was 



ir>2 THE QUEEX OF THE FLOWERY ISLES 

so fortunate as to meet a benevolent fairy who delivered 
me from the proud queen's power, and told me all your 
adventures and where to find you. I now come to offer 
you a heart which has been entirely yours, Madam, since 
first we met in the desert.' 

A few days later a herald was sent through the 
kingdom to proclaim the joyful news of the marriage of 
the Queen of the Flowery Isles with the young prince. 
They lived happily for many years, ancl ruled their people 
well. 

As for the bad queen, whose vanity and jealousy had 
caused so much mischief, the Fairies took all her power 
away for a punishment. 

[* Cabinet des F£es.*] 



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153 



UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 

Once upon a time there was a man and his wife who 
had seven boys. The children lived in the open air and 
grew big and strong, and the sis eldest spent part of every 
day hunting wild beasts. The youngest did not care so 
much about sport, and he often stayed with his mother. 

One morning, however, as the whole seven were 
going out for a long expedition, they said to their aunt, 
' Dear aunt, if a baby sister comes into the world to-day, 
wave a white handkerchief, and we will return imme- 
diately ; but if it is only a boy, just brandish a sickle, 
and we will go on with what we are doing.' 

jSow the baby when it arrived really proved to be a 
girl, but as the aunt could not bear the boys, she thought 
it was a good opportunity to get rid of them. So she 
waved the sickle. And when the seven brothers saw the 
sigu they said, ; Xow we have nothing to go back for/ 
and plunged deeper into the desert. 

The little girl soon grew to be a big girl, and she was 
called by all her friends (though she did not know it) 
fc Udea, who had driven her seven brothers into strange 
lands.' 

One day, when she had been quarrelling with her play- 
mates, the oldest among them said to her, ' It is a pity 
you were born, as ever since, your brothers have been 
obliged to roam about the world.' 

Udea did not answer, but went home to her mother 
and asked her, k Have I really got brothers ? ' 

* Yes,' replied her mother, 4 seven of them. But they 

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154 UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 

went away the day you were born, and I have never 
heard of them since.' 

Then the girl said, ' I will go and look for them till I 
find them.' 

'My dear child,' answered her mother, 'it is fifteen 
years since they left, and no man has seen them. How 
will }T>u know which way to go?* 

' Oh, I will follow them, north and south, east and 
west, and though I may travel far, ye,t some day I will 
find them.' 

Then her mother said no more, but gave her a camel 
and some food, and a negro and his wife to take care of 
her, and she fastened a cowrie shell round the camel's 
neck for a charm, and bade her daughter go in peace. 

During the first day the party journeyed on without 
any adventures, but the second morning the negro said to 
the girl, ' Get down, and let the negress ride instead of 
you.' 

' Mother,' cried Udea. 

4 What is it? ' asked her mother. 

4 Barka wants me to dismount from my camel.' 

' Leave her alone, Barka/ commanded the mother, 
and Barka did not dare to persist. 

But on the following day he said again to Udea, ' Get 
down, and let the negress ride instead of you,' and though 
Udea called to her mother she was too far away, and the 
mother never heard her. Then the negro seized her roughly 
and threw her on the ground, and said to his wife, 4 Climb 
up,' and the negress climbed up, while the girl walked by the 
side. She had meant to ride all the way on her camel as 
her feet were bare and the stones cut them till the blood 
came. But she had to walk on till night, when they 
halted, and the next morning it was the same thing again. 
Weary and bleeding the poor girl began to cry, and im- 
plored the negro to let her ride, if only for a little. But 
he took no notice, except to bid her walk a little faster. 

By-and-by they passed a caravan, and the negro 

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TIDE A AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 155 

stopped and asked the leader if they had come across 
seven young men, who were thought to be hunting some- 




where about. And the man answered, 4 Go straight on, 

and by mid-day you will reach the castle where they live.' 

When he heard this, the black melted some pitch in 

the sun, and smeared the girl with it, till she looked as 



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156 UDEA AND HER SEVEN BE OTHERS 

much a negro as he did. Next he bade his wife get down 
from the camel, and told Udea to mount, which she was 
thankful to do. So they arrived at her brothers' castle. 

Leaving the camel kneeling at the entrance for Udea 
to dismount, the negro knocked loudly at the door, which 
was opened by the youngest brother, all the others being 
away hunting. He did not of course recognise Udea, 
but he knew the negro and his wife, and welcomed 
them gladly, adding, ' But who does the other Degress 
belong to? ' 

' Oh, that is your sister! ' said they. 

6 My sister ! but she is coal black I ' 

' That may be, but she is your sister for all that.' 

The young man asked no more questions, but took 
them into the castle, and he himself waited outside till 
his brothers came home. 

As soon as they were alone, the negro whispered to 
Udea, 4 If you dare to tell your brothers that I made you 
walk, or that J smeared you with pitch, I will kill you.' 

' Oh, I will be sure to say nothing,' replied the girl, 
trembling, and at that moment the six elder brothers 
appeared in sight. 

' I have some good news for you,' said the youngest, 
hastening to meet them ; ' our sister is here! ' 

c Nonsense,' they answered. ' We have no sister ; you 
know the child that was born was a boy.' 

' But that was not true,' replied he, ' and here she is 
with the negro and his wife. Only — she too is black,' he 
added softly, but his brothers did not hear him, and 
pushed past joyfully. 

'How are you, good old Barka?' they said to the 
negro; 'and how comes it that we never knew that we 
had a sister till now?' and they greeted Udea warmly, 
while she shed tears of relief and gladness. 

The next morning they all agreed that they would not 
go out hunting. And the eldest brother took Udea on his 
knee, and she combed his hair and talked to him of their 

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UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 157 

home till the tears ran down his cheeks and dropped on 
her bare arm. And where the tears fell a white mark 
was made. Then the brother took a cloth and rubbed 
the place, and he saw that she was not black at all. 

' Tell me, who painted } T ou over like this? ' cried he. 

4 I am afraid to tell you,' sobbed the girl, ' the negro 
will kill me/ 

4 Afraid ! and with seven brothers ! ' 

'Well, I will tell you then/ she answered. 'The 
negro forced me to dismount from the camel and let his 
wife ride instead. And the stones cut my feet till they 
bled and I had to bind them. And after that, when we 
heard your castle was near by, he took pitch and smeared 
my body with it.' 

Then the brother rushed in wrath from the room, and 
seizing his sword, cut off first the negro's head and then 
his wife's. lie next brought in some warm water, and 
washed his sister all over, till her skin was white and 
shining again. 

'Ah, now we see that you are our sister!' they all 
said. ' What fools the negro must have thought us, to 
believe for an instant that we could have a sister who was 
black ! ' And ail that day and the next they remained in 
the castle. 

But on the third morning they said to their sister : 
' Dear sister, you must lock yourself into this castle, with 
only the cat for company. And be very careful never to 
eat anything which she does not eat too. You must be 
sure to give her a bit of everything. In seven days we 
shall be back again.' 

'All right,' she answered, and locked herself into the 
castle with the cat. 

On the eighth day the brothers came home. ' How 
are you? ; they asked. ' You have not been anxious?* 

4 No, why should I be anxious? The gates were fast 
locked, and iii the castle are seven doors, and the seventh 
is of iron. What is there to frighten me?' 

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158 UDEA AND HER SEVEN BE OTHERS 

' No one will try to hurt us,' said the brothers, 4 for 
they fear us greatly. But for yourself, we implore you 
to do nothing without consulting the cat, who has grown 
up in the house, and take care never to neglect her advice.' 

' All right,' replied Udea, ' and whatever I eat she 
shall have half.' 

' Capital ! and if ever you are in danger the cat will 
come and tell us — only elves and pigeons, which fly round 
your window, know where to find us.' > 

1 This is the first I have heard of the pigeons,' said 
Udea. 4 Why did you not speak of them before? ' 

4 We always leave them food and water for seven 
days,' replied the brothers. 

4 Ah, sighed the girl, ' if I had only known, I would 
have given them fresh food and fresh water; for after 
seven days anything becomes bad. Would it not be 
better if I fed them every day?' 

' Much better, 5 said they, ' and we shall feel any kind- 
nesses you do towards the cat or the pigeous exactly as 
if they were shown to ourselves.' 

1 Set your minds at ease/ answered the girl, ' I will 
treat them as if they were my brothers.' 

That night the brothers slept in the castle, but after 
breakfast next morning they buckled on their weapons 
and mounted their horses, and rode off to their hunting 
grounds, calling out to their sister, ' Mind you let nobody 
in till we come back.' 

6 Very well,' cried she, and kept the doors carefully 
locked for seven days and on the eighth the brothers 
returned as before. Then, after spending one evening with 
her, they departed as soon as they had done breakfast. 

Directly they were out of sight Udea began to clean 
the house, and among the dust she found a bean which 
she ate. 

' What are you eating? ' asked the cat. 

' Nothing,' said she. 

1 Open your mouth, and let me see.' The girl did as 

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UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 159 

she was told, and then the cat said 'Why did you not 
give me half ? ' 

' 1 forgot/ answered she, ' but there are plenty of 
beans about, you can have as many as you like/ 

4 No, that won't do. I want half of that particular 
bean.' 

' But how can I give it you? I tell you I have eaten 
it. I can roast you a hundred others.' 

4 No, I want half of that one.' 

4 Oh ! do as you like, only go away ! ' cried she. 

So the cat ran straight to the kitchen fire, and spit on 
it and put it out, and when Udea came to cook the supper 
she had nothing to light it with. 4 Why did you put the 
lire out? ' asked she. 

' Just to show you how nicely you would be able to 
cook the supper. Did n't you tell me to do what I liked?' 

The girl left the kitchen and climbed up on the roof of 
the castle and looked out. Far, far away, so far that she 
could hardly see it, was the glow of a fire. 4 I will go and 
fetch a burning coal from there and light my fire,' thought 
she, and opened the door of the castle. When she reached 
the place where the fire was kindled, a hideous man-eater 
was crouching over it. 

' Peace be with you, grandfather,' said she. 

4 The same to you,' replied the man-eater. 4 What 
brings you here, Udea?' 

4 I came to ask for a lump of burning coal, to light 
my fire with.' 

4 Do you want a big lump or a little lump? ' 

4 Why, what difference does it make? ' said she. 

4 If you have a big lump you must give me a strip of 
your skin from } T our ear to your thumb, and if you have 
a little lump, you must give me a strip from your ear to 
your little finger. * 

Udea, who thought that one sounded as bad as the 
other, said she would take the big lump, and when the 
man-eater had cut the skin, she went home again. 

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160 UDEA AND II ER SEVEN BROTHERS 

And as she hastened on a raven beheld the blood on 
the ground, and plastered it with earth, and stayed by her 
till she reached the castle. And as she entered the door 
he flew past, and she shrieked from fright, for up to that 
moment she had not seen him. In her terror she called 
after him, c May you get the same start as you have given 
me!' 




' Why should you wish me harm,' asked the raven, 
pausing in his flight, 'when I have done you a service?' 

4 What service have you done me?' said she. 

' Oh, you shall soon see,' replied the raven, and with 
his bill he scraped away all the earth he had smeared 
over the blood and then flew away. 

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UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 161 

In the night the man-eater got up, and followed the 
blood till he came to Udea's castle. He entered through 
the gate which she had left open, and went on till he 
reached the inside of the house. But here he was 
stopped by the seven doors, six of wood and one of iron, 
and all fast locked. And he called through them ; Oh 
Udea, what did you see your grandfather doing?' 

1 I saw him spread silk under him, and silk over him, 
and lay himself down in a four-post bed.' 

When he heard that, the man-eater broke in one door, 
and laughed and went away. 

And the second night he came back, and asked her 
again what she had seen her grandfather doing, and she 
answered him as before ; and he broke in another door, 
and laughed and went away, and so each night till he 
reached the seventh door. Then the maiden wrote a 
letter to her brothers, and bound it round the neck of a 
pigeon, and said to it, 4 Oh, thou pigeon that servedst my 
father and my grandfather, carry this letter to my 
brothers, and come back at once.' And the pigeon flew 
away. 

It flew and it flew and it flew till it found the brothers. 
The eldest unfastened the letter from the pigeon's neck, 
and read what his sister had written : 4 I am in a great 
strait, my brothers. If you do not rescue me to-night, 
to-morrow I shall be no longer living, for the man-eater 
has broken open six doors, and only the iron door is left. 
So haste, haste, post haste.' 

' Quick, quick ! my brothers,' cried he. 

' What is the matter? ' asked they. 

c lf we cannot reach our sister to-night, to-morrow 
she will be the prey of the man-eater.' 

And without more words they sprang on their horses, 
and rode like the wind. 

The gate of the castle was thrown down, and they 
entered the court and called loudly to their sister. But 
the poor girl was so ill with fear and anxiety that she 

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1G2 UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 

could not even speak. Then the brothers dismounted 
and passed through the six open doors, till they stood 
before the iron one, which was still shut. ' Udea, open ! ' 
they cried, 'it is only your brothers!' And she arose 
and unlocked the door, and throwing herself on the neck 
of the eldest burst into tears. 

4 Tell us what has happened,' he said, ' and how the 
man-eater traced you here.' 

i It is all the cat's fault,' replied Udea. ' She put out 
my fire so that I could not cook. All about a bean ! I 
ate one and forgot to give her any of it.' 

' But we told yon so particularly,' said the eldest 
brother, ' never to eat anything without sharing it with 
the cat.' 

4 Yes, but I tell you I forgot,' answered Udea. 

' Does the man-eater come here every night?' asked 
the brothers. 

' Every night,' said Udea, * and he breaks one door in 
and then goes away. 7 

Then all the brothers cried together, ' We will dig a 
great hole, and fill it with burning wood, and spread a 
covering over the top ; and when the man-eater arrives 
we will push him into it.' So they all set to work, and 
prepared the great hole, and set fire to the wood, till 
it was reduced to a mass of glowing charcoal. And 
when the man-eater came, and called as usual, ' Udea, 
what did } T ou see your grandfather doing?' she answered, 
' I saw him pull off the ass's skin and devour the ass, and 
he fell in the fire, and the fire burned him up.' 

Then the man-eater was filled with rage, and he flung 
himself upon the iron door and burst it in. On the other 
side stood Udea's seven brothers, who said, ' Come, rest 
yourself a little on this mat.' And the man-eater sat 
down, and he fell right into the burning pit which was 
under the mat, and they heaped on more wood, till 
nothing was left of him, not even a bone. Only one of 
his finger-nails was blown away, and fell into an upper 

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UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 1G5 

chamber where Udea was standing, and stuck under one 
of the nails of her own fingers. And she sank lifeless to 
the earth. 

Meanwhile her brothers sat below waiting for her 
and wondering why she did not come. 4 What can have 
happened to her ! ' exclaimed the eldest brother. ' Perhaps 
she has fallen into the fire, too.' So one of the others 
ran upstairs and found his sister stretched on the floor. 
' Udea! Udea! ' he cried, but she did not move or reply. 
Then he saw that she was dead, and rushed down to his 
brothers in the courtyard and called out, ' Come quickly, 
our sister is dead ! ' In a moment they were all beside 
her and knew that it was true, and they made a bier and 
laid her on it, and placed her across a camel, and said to 
the camel, k Take her to her mother, but be careful not to 
halt by the way, and let no man capture you, and see 
you kneel down before no man, save him who shall say 
" striug " x to you. But to him who says " string," then 
kneel/ 

So the camel started, and when it had accomplished 
half its journey it met three men, who ran after it 
in order to catch it ; but they could not. Then they 
cried 'Stop!' but the camel only went the faster. The 
three men panted behind till one said to the others, 
' Wait a minute ! The string of my sandal is broken ! ' 
The camel caught the word ' string ' and knelt down at 
once, and the men came np and found a dead girl lying 
on a bier, with a ring on her finger. And as one of the 
young men took hold of her hand to pull off the ring, he 
knocked out the man-eater's finger-nail, which had stuck 
there, and the maiden sat up and said, ' Let him live 
who gave me life, and sla} r him who slew me ! ' And 
when the eamel heard the maiden speak, it turned and 
carried her back to her brothers. 

Now the brothers were still seated in the court be- 
wailing their sister, and their eyes were dim with weeping 
i ' Kiemeii/ 

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16 G UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 

so that they could hardly see. And when the camel stood 
before them they said, 4 Perhaps it has brought back our 
sister ! * and rose to give it a beating. But the camel 
knelt down and the girl dismounted, and they flung 
themselves on her neck and wept more than ever for 
gladness. 

4 Tell me,' said the eldest, as soon as he could speak, 
4 how it all came about, and what killed you.' 

4 1 was waiting in the upper chamber,' said she, 4 and 
a nail of the man-eater's stuck under my nail, and I fell 
dead upon the ground. That is all I know/ 

4 But who pulled out the nail? ' asked he. 

4 A man took hold of my hand and tried to pull off my 
ring, and the nail jumped out and I was alive again. 
And when the camel heard me say t4 Let him live who 
gave me life, slay him who slew ine! " it turned and 
brought me back to the castle. That is my story.' 

She was silent and the eldest brother spoke. 4 Will 
you listen to what I have to say, my brothers? ' 

And they replied, 4 How should we not hear yon? 
Are you not our father as well as our brother?' 

4 Then this is my advice. Let us take our sister back 
to our father and mother, that we may see them once 
more before they die/ 

And the young men agreed, and they mounted their 
horses and placed their sister in a litter on the camel. 
So they set out. 

At the end of five days' journey they reached the old 
home where their father and mother dwelt alone. And 
the heart of their father rejoiced, and he said to them, 
4 Dear sons, why did you go away and leave your mother 
and me to weep for you night and day? ' 

4 Dear father,' answered the son, 4 let us rest a 
little now, and then I will tell you everything from the 
beginning/ 

4 All right,' replied the father, and waited patiently for 
three days. 

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TIDE A AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 1G7 

And on the morning of the fourth day the eldest 
brother said, c Dear father, would you like to hear our 
adventures ? ' 

' Certainly I should ! ' 

'Well, it was our aunt who was the cause of our 
leaving home, for we agreed that if the baby was a sister 
she should wave a white handkerchief, and if it was a 
brother, she should brandish a sickle, for then there would 
be nothing to come back for, and we might wander far 
away. Now our aunt could not bear us, and hated us to 
live in the same house with her, so she brandished the 
sickle, and we went away. That is all our story.' 

And that is all this story. 

[Marchen und Gedichte aus der Sfadi Tripolis, Von Hans Stumme.} 



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168 



THE WHITE WOLF 



Once upon a time there was a king who had three 
daughters; they were all beautiful, but the youngest was 
the fairest of the three. Now it happened that one day 
their father had to set out for a tour in a distant part 
of his kingdom. Before he left, his youngest daughter 
made him promise to bring her back a wreath of wild 
flowers. When the king was ready to return to his 
palace, he bethought himself that he would like to take 
home presents to each of his three daughters; so he 
went into a jeweller's shop, and bought a beautiful neck- 
lace for the eldest princess; then he went to a rich 
merchant's and bought a dress embroidered in gold and 
silver thread for the second princess, but in none of the 
flower shops nor in the market could he find the wreath 
of wild flowers that his youngest daughter had set her 
heart on. So he had to set out on his homeward way 
without it. Now his journey led him through a thick 
forest. While he was still about four miles distant from 
his palace, he noticed a white wolf squatting on the road- 
side, and, behold ! on the head of the wolf, there was a 
wreath of wild flowers. 

Then the king called to the coachman, and ordered 
him to get down from his seat and fetch him the wreath 
from the wolf's head. But the wolf heard the order and 
said : 4 My lord and king, I will let you have the wreath, 
but I must have something in return.' 

4 What do } T ou want?' answered the king. 'I will 
gladly give you rich treasure in exchange for it.' 

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THE WHITE WOLF 1G9 

' I do not want rich treasure,' replied the wolf. ' Only 
promise to give me the first thing that meets } T ou on 
your way to your castle. In three days I shall come and 
fetch it.' 

And the king thought to himself: 'I am still a good 
long way from home, I am sure to meet a wild animal or 
a bird on the road, it will be quite safe to promise.* So 
he consented, and carried the wreath away with him. 
But all along the road he met no living creature till he 
turned into the palace gates, where his youngest daughter 
was waiting to welcome him home. 

That evening the king was very sad, remembering his 
promise ; and when he told the queen what had happened, 
she too shed bitter tears. And the youngest princess 
asked them why they both looked so sad, and why they 
wept. Then her father told her what a price he would 
have to pay for the wreath of wild flowers he had brought 
home to her, for in three days a white wolf would come 
and claim her and carry her away, and they would never 
see her again. But the queen thought and thought, and 
at last she hit upon a plan. 

There was in the palace a servant maid the same age 
and the same height as the princess, and the queen 
dressed her up in a beautiful dress belonging to her 
daughter, and determined to give her to the white wolf, 
who would never know the difference. 

On the third day the wolf strode into the palace yard 
and up the great stairs, to the room where the king and 
queen were seated. 

4 1 have come to claim your promise/ he said. c Give 
me your youngest daughter.' 

Then they led the servant maid up to him, and he 
said to her: 'You must mount on my back, and I will 
take you to my castle.' And with these words he swung 
her on to his back and left the palace. 

When they reached the place where he had met the 
king and given him the wreath of wild flowers, he 

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170 THE WHITE WOLF 

stopped, and told her to dismount that they might rest a 
little. 

So they sat down by the roadside. 

4 I wonder,' said the wolf, 4 what your father would do 
if this forest belonged to him? ' 

And the girl answered : ' My father is a poor man, 
so he would cut down the trees, and saw them into 
planks, and he would sell the planks, and we should 
never be poor again ; but would always have enough to 
eat.' 

Then the wolf knew that he had not got the real 
princess, and he swung the servant-maid on to his back 
and carried her to the castle. And he strode angrily 
into the king's chamber, and spoke. 

4 Give me the real princess at once. If you deceive 
me again I will cause such a storm to burst over your 
palace that the walls will fall in, and you will all be 
buried in the ruins.' 

Then the king and the queen wept, but they saw 
there was no escape. So the}' sent for their } T oungest 
daughter, and the king said to her: 'Dearest child, you 
must go with the white wolf, for I promised you to him, 
and I must keep my word.* 

So the princess got ready to leave her home ; but first 
she went to her room to fetch her wreath of wild flowers, 
which she took with her. Then the white wolf swung 
her on his back and bore her away. But when they came 
to the place where he had rested with the servant-maid, 
he told her to dismount that they might rest for a 
little at the roadside. Then he turned to her and said : 'I 
wonder what your father would do if this forest belonged 
to him ? ' 

And the princess answered: 4 My father would cut 
down the trees and turn it into a beautiful park and 
gardens, and he and his courtiers would come and wander 
among the glades in the summer time.' 

4 This is the real princess,' said the wolf to himself. 

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THE WHITE WOLF 



171 



But aloud he said : ' Mount ouce more on my back, and 
I will bear you to my castle.* 

And when she was seated on his back he set out 
through the woods, and he ran, and ran, and ran, till 




at last he stopped in front of a stately courtyard, with 
massive gates. 

4 This is a beautiful castle,' said the princess, as the 
gates swung back and she stepped inside. c If only I 
were not so far awa} T from ni} T father and my mother ! ' 

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172 THE WHITE WOLF 

But the wolf answered : ' At the end of a year we 
will pay a visit to your father and mother/ 

And at these words the white furry skin slipped from 
his back, and the princess saw that he was not a wolf at 
all, but a beautiful youth, tall and stately; and he gave 
her his hand, and led her up the castle stairs. 

One day, at the end of half a year, he came into her 
room and said : ' My dear one, you must get ready for 
a wedding. Your eldest sister is going to be married, 
and I will take you to your father's palace. When the 
wedding is over, I shall come and fetch you home. I 
will whistle outside the gate, and when you hear me, 
pay no heed to what your father or mother say, leave 
your dancing and feasting, and come to me at once ; for 
if I have to leave without you, you will never find your 
way back alone through the forests.' 

When the princess was ready to start, she found that 
he had put on his white fur skin, and was changed back 
into the wolf ; and he swung her on to his back, and set 
out with her to her father's palace, where he left her, 
while he himself returned home alone. But, in the 
evening, he went back to fetch her, and, standing outside 
the palace gate, he gave a long, loud whistle. In the 
midst of her dancing the princess heard the sound, and 
at once she went to him, and he swung her on his back 
and bore her away to his castle. 

Again, at the end of half a year, the prince came into 
her room, as the white wolf, and said : ' Dear heart, you 
must prepare for the wedding of your second sister. I 
will take you to your father's palace to-day, and we will 
remain there together till to-morrow morning. ' 

So they went together to the wedding. In the evening, 
when the two were alone together, he dropped his fur 
skiu, and, ceasing to be a wolf, became a prince again. 
Now they did not know that the princess's mother was 
hidden in the room. When she saw the white skin lying 
on the floor, she crept out of the room, and sent a servant 

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THE WHITE WOLF 173 

to fetch the skin and to burn it in the kitchen fire. The 
moment the flames touched the skin there was a fearful 
clap of thunder heard, and the prince disappeared out of 
the palace gate in a whirlwind, and returned to his palace 
alone. 

But the princess was heart-broken, and spent the 
night weeping bitterly. Next morning she set out to 
find her way back to the castle, but she wandered through 
the woods and forests, and she could find no path or track 
to guide her. For fourteen days she roamed in the forest, 
sleeping under the trees, and living upon wild berries and 
roots, and at last she reached a little house. She opened 
the door and went in, and found the wind seated in the 
room all by himself, and she spoke to the wind and said : 
; A\ r ind, have you seen the white wolf? ' 

And the wind answered : ' All day and all night I have 
been blowing round the world, and I have only just come 
home; but I have not seen him.' 

But he gave her a pair of shoes, in which, he told her, 
she would be able to walk a hundred miles with every step, 
Then she walked through the air till she reached a star, 
and she said : L Tell me, star, have you seen the white 
wolf?' 

And the star answered : ' I have been shining all night, 
and I have not seen him.' 

But the star gave her a pair of shoes, and told her 
that if she put them on she would be able to walk two 
hundred miles at a stride. So she drew them on, and she 
walked to the moon, and she said : ' Dear moon, have you 
not seen the white wolf?' 

But the moon answered, ' All night long I have been 
sailing through the heavens, and I have only just come 
home ; but I did not see him.' 

But he gave her a pair of shoes, in which she would 
be able to cover four hundred miles with every stride. So 
she went to the sun, and said: ' Dear sun, have you seen 
the white wolf ? ' 

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174 THE WHITE WOLF 

And the sun answered, ' Yes, I have seen him, and he 
has chosen another bride, for he thought you had left him, 
and would never return, and he is preparing for the 
wedding. But I will help you. Here are a pair of shoes. 
If you put these on you will be able to walk on glass or 
ice, and to climb the steepest places. And here is a 
spinning-wheel, with which you will be able to spin moss 
into silk. When you leave me you will reach a glass 
mountain. Put on the shoes that I have given you and 
with them you will be able to climb it quite easily. At the 
summit you will find the palace of the white wolf/ 

Then the princess set out, and before long she reached 
the glass mountain, and at the summit she found the 
white wolf's palace, as the sun had said. 

But no one recognised her, as she had disguised herself 
as an old woman, and had wound a shawl round her head. 
Great preparations were going on in the palace for the 
wedding, which was to take place next day. Then the 
princess, still disguised as an old woman, took out her 
spinning-wheel, and began to spin moss into silk. And 
as she spun the new bride passed by, and seeing the 
moss turn into silk, she said to the old woman : 4 Little 
mother, I wish you would give me that spinning-wheel. , 

And the princess answered, ' I will give it to you if 
you will allow me to sleep to-night on the mat outside 
the prince's door.* 

And the bride replied, i Yes, you may sleep on the mat 
outside the door.* 

So the princess gave her the spinning-wheel. And 
that night, winding the shawl all round her, so that 
no one could recognise her, she lay down on the 
mat outside the white wolf's door. And when every- 
one in the palace was asleep she began to tell the whole 
of her story. She told how she had been one of three 
sisters, and that she had been the youngest and the 
fairest of the three, and that her father had betrothed her 
to a white wolf. And she told how she had gone first to 

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THE WHITE WOLF 177 

the wedding of one sister, and then with her husband 
to the wedding of the other sister, and how her mother 
had ordered the servant to throw the white fur skin into 
the kitchen fire. And then she told of her wanderings 
through the forest; and of how she had sought the 
white wolf weeping; and how the wind and star and 
moon and sun had befriended her, and had helped her 
to reach his palace. And when the white wolf heard all 
the story, he knew that it was his first wife, who had 
sought him, and had found him, after such great dangers 
and difficulties. 

But he said nothing, for he waited till the next day, 
when many guests — kings and princes from far countries 
— were coming to his wedding. Then, when all the guests 
were assembled in the banqueting hall, he spoke to them 
and said : c Hearken to me, ye kings and princes, for I have 
something to tell you. I had lost the key of my treasure 
casket, so I ordered a new one to be made ; but I have 
since found the old one. Now, which of these keys is 
the better?' 

Then all the kings and royal guests answered: 
1 Certainly the old key is better than the new one.* 

1 Then,' said the wolf, ; if that is so, my former bride 
is better than my new one.' 

And he sent for the new bride, and he gave her in 
marriage to one of the princes who was present, and then 
he turned to his guests, and said: 'And here is my 
former bride ' — and the beautiful princess was led into 
the room and seated beside him on his throne. c I 
thought she had forgotten me, and that she would never 
return. But she has sought me everywhere, and now 
we are together once more we shall never part again.' 



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178 



MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

Once upon a time, there lived a woman who had a son 
and a daughter. One morning she sa'id to them: 'I 
have heard of a town where there is no such thing as 
death : let us go and dwell there.' So she broke up her 
house, and went away with her son and daughter. 

When she reached the city, the first thing she did was 
to look about and see if there was any churchyard, and 
when she found none, she exclaimed, 'This is a delightful 
spot. We will stay here for ever.' 

By-and-by, her son grew to be a man, and he took 
for a wife a girl who had been born in the town. But 
after a little while he grew restless, and went away on 
his travels, leaving his mother, his wife, and his sister 
behind him. 

lie had not been gone many weeks when one evening 
his mother said, 4 I am not well, my head aches dread- 
fully.' 

4 What did yon say? ' inquired her daughter-in-law. 

4 My head feels ready to split,' replied the old woman. 

The daughter-in-law asked no more questions, but left 
the house, and went in haste to some butchers in the 
next street. 

4 1 have got a woman to sell ; what will you give me 
for her? ' said she. 

The butchers answered that they must see the woman 
first, and they all returned together. 

Then the butchers took the woman and told her they 
must kill her. 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 179 

4 But why? ' she asked. 

4 Because/ they said, ' it is always our custom that 
when persons are ill and complain of their head they 
should be killed at once. It is a much better way than 
leaving them to die a natural death.' 

4 Very well,' replied the woman. ' But leave, I pray 
you, my lungs and my liver untouched, till my son comes 
back. Then give both to him.' 

But the men took them out at once, and gave them 
to the daughter-in-law, saying: 4 Put away these things 
till your husband returns.' And the daughter-in-law took 
them, and hid them in a secret place. 

When the old woman's daughter, who had been in the 
woods, heard that her mother had been killed while she 
was out, she was filled with fright, and ran away as fast 
as she could. At last she reached a lonely spot far from 
the town, where she thought she was safe, and sat down 
on a stone, and wept bitterly. As she was sitting, sobbing, 
a man passed by. 

* What is the matter, little girl? Answer me ! I will 
be your friend. ' 

4 Ah, sir, they have killed my mother; my brother is 
far away, and I have nobody.' 

4 Will you come with me? ' asked the man. 

4 Thankfully,' said she, and he led her down, down, 
under the earth, till they reached a great city. Then he 
married her, and in course of time she had a son. And 
the baby was known throughout the city as 4 Mohammed 
with the magic finger,' because, whenever he stuck out 
his little finger, he was able to see anything that was 
happening for as far as two days' distance. 

By-and-by, as the boy was growing bigger, his uncle 
returned from his long journey, and went straight to his 
wife. 

4 Where are my mother and sister? ' he asked; but his 
wife answered ; 4 Have something to eat first, and then 
I will tell you.' 

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180 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

But he replied: 'How can I cat till I know what 
has become of them ? ' 

Then she fetched, from the upper chamber, a box full 
of money, which she laid before him, saying, ' That is the 
price of your mother. She sold well/ 

4 What do you mean? ' he gasped. 

4 Oh, your mother complained one day that her head 
was aching, so I got in two butchers and they agreed 
to take her. However, I have got her lungs and liver 
hidden, till you came back, in a safe place.' 

4 And my sister? ' 

4 Well, while the people were chopping up your mother 
she ran away, and I heard no more of her.' 

4 Give me my mother's liver and lungs, ' said the 
young man. And she gave them to him. Then he put 
them in his pocket, and went away, saying : 4 I can stay 
no longer in this horrible town. I go to seek my sister.' 

Now, one day, the little boy stretched out his finger 
and said to his mother, 4 My uncle is coming ! ' 

4 Where is he ? ' she asked. 

4 He is still two days' journey off: looking for us; but 
he will soon be here.' And in two days, as the boy had 
foretold, the uncle had found the hole in the earth, and 
arrived at the gate of the city. All his money was spent, 
and not knowing where his sister lived, he began to beg 
of all the people he saw. 

4 Here comes my uncle,' called out the little boy. 

4 Where?' asked his mother. 

4 Here at the house door;' and the woman ran out 
and embraced him, and wept over him. When they could 
both speak, he said: 4 My sister, were you by when they 
killed my mother? ' 

1 I was absent when they slew her,' replied she, 4 and 
as I could do nothing, I ran away. But you, my brother, 
how did you get here? ' 

4 By chance,' he said, 4 after I had wandered far; but 
I did not know I should find yon ! ' 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 181 

' My little boy told me you were coming,' she ex- 
plained, 'when yon were yet two days distant; he alone 
of all men has that great gift.' 

But she did not tell him that her husband could 
change himself into a serpent, a dog, or a monster, when- 




ever he pleased. He was a very rich man, and possessed 
large herds of camels, goats, sheep, cattle, horses and 
asses; all the best of their kind. And the next morning, 
the sister said : 4 Dear brother, go and watch our sheep, 
and when you are thirsty, drink their milk ! * 
4 Very well,' answered he. and he went. 

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182 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

Soon after, she said again, ' Dear brother, go and 
watch our goats.' 

4 But why? I like tending sheep better ! ' 

'Oh, it is much nicer to be a goatherd,' she said ; so 
he took the goats out. 

When he was gone, she said to her husband, 'You 
must kill my brother, for I cannot have him living here 
with me.' 

4 Bat, my dear, why should I? He has done me no 
harm/ 

4 I wish you to kill him,' she answered, 'or if not I 
will leave.' 

4 Oh, all right, then,' said he ; 4 to-morrow I will change 
m} 7 self into a serpent, and hide myself in the date barrel ; 
and when he comes to fetch dates I will sting him in the 
hand.' 

4 That will do very well/ said she. 

When the sun was up next day, she called to her 
brother, 4 Go and mind the goats.' 

4 Yes, of course,' he replied ; but the little boy called 
out: * Uncle, I want to come with you.' 

' Delighted,' said the uncle, and they started to- 
gether. 

After they had got out of sight of the house the boy 
said to him, 4 Dear uncle, my father is going to kill you. 
He has changed himself into a serpent, and lias hidden 
himself in the date barrel. My mother has told him to 
do it.' 

4 And what am I to do?' asked the uncle. 

4 1 will tell you. When we bring the goats back to 
the house, and my mother says to you, " I am sure you 
must be hungry : get a few dates out of the cask," just 
say to me, "lam not feeling very well, JMohammed, you 
go and get them for me." ' 

So when they reached the house the sister came out 
to meet them, saying, 4 Dear brother, you must certainly 
be hungry : go and get a few dates.' 

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310 HAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 183 

But he answered, ' I am not feeling very well. 
Mohammed, you go and get them for me.' 

i Of course I will,' replied the little boy, and ran at 
once to the cask. 

' No, no,' his mother called after him ; ' come here 
directly! Let your uncle fetch them himself! ' 

But the boy would not listen, and crying out to her, 
< I would rather get them,' thrust his hand into the date 
cask. 

Instead of the fruit, it struck against something cold 
and slimy, and he whispered softly, ' Keep still; it is I, 
your son ! ' 

Then he picked up his dates and went away to his 
uncle. 

< Here they are, dear uncle ; eat as many as you want.' 

And his uncle ate them. 

"When he saw that the uncle did not mean to come 
near the cask, the serpent crawled out and regained his 
proper shape. 

' I am thankful I did not kill him,' he said to his wife; 
' for, after all, he is my brother-in-law, and it would have 
been a great sin ! ' 

4 Either you kill him or I leave you,' said she. 

4 AVell, well ! ' sighed the man, ' to-morrow I will do 
it.' 

The woman let that night go by without doing any- 
thing further, but at daybreak she said to her brother, 
4 Get up, brother; it is time to take the goats to pasture!' 

6 All right,' cried he. 

4 1 will come with you, uncle/ called out the little 
boy. 

1 Yes, come along,' replied he. 

But the mother ran up, sa} T ing, 4 The child must not 
go out in this cold or he will be ill ; ' to which he only 
answered, 4 Nonsense! I am going, so it is no use your 
talking ! I am going ! I am ! I am ! ' 

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184 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

And so they started, driving the goats in front of them. 

When they reached the pasture the boy said to his 
uncle : ' Dear uncle, this night my father means to kill 
3 7 ou. While we are away he will creep into your room 
and hide in the straw. Directly we get home my mother 
will say to you, " Take that straw and give it to the 
sheep," and, if you do, he will bite you/ 

' Then what am I to do? ' asked the man. 

' Oh, do not be afraid, dear uncle ! I will kill my 
father myself.' 

' All right,' replied the uncle. 

As they drove back the goats towards the house, the 
sister cried : 'Be quick, dear brother, go and get me some 
straw for the sheep.' 

' Let me go,' said the boy. 

' You are not big enough ; your uncle will get it,' 
replied she. 

'We will both get it,' answered the boy ; c come, uncle, 
let us go and fetch that straw ! ' 

'All right,' replied the uncle, and they went to the 
door of the room. 

i It seems very dark,' said the bo} T ; ' I must go and 
get a light ; ' and when he came back with one, he set fire 
to the straw, and the serpent was burnt. 

Then the mother broke into sobs and tears. 4 Oh, you 
wretched boy! What have you done? Your father was 
in that straw, and 3 t ou have killed him!' 

' Now, how was I to know that my father was lying 
in that straw, instead of in the kitchen?' said the boy. 

But his mother only wept the more, and sobbed out, 
' From this day 3 T ou have no father. You must do with- 
out him as best you can ! ' 

4 Why did you marry a serpent?' asked the boy. * I 
thought he was a man ! How did he learn those odd 
tricks?' 

As the sun rose, she woke her brother, and said, ' Go 
and take the goats to pasture ! ' 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FIXGEI? 185 

'I Avill come too,' said the little boy. 

' Go then ! ' said his mother, and they went together. 

On the way the boy began : 4 Dear uncle, this night 
my mother means to kill both of us, by poisoning us with 
the bones of the serpent, which she will grind to powder 
and sprinkle in our food.' 

4 And what are we to do?' asked the uncle. 

' I will kill her, dear uncle. I do not want either a 
father or a mother like that ! ' 

When they came home in the evening they saw the 
woman preparing supper, and secretly scattering the 
powdered bones of the serpent on one side of the dish. 
On the other, where she meant to eat herself, there was 
no poison. 

And the boy whispered to his uncle, ' Dear uncle, be 
sure you eat from the same side of the dish as I do ! ' 

4 All right,' said the uncle. 

So they all three sat down to the table, but before 
they helped themselves the boy said, 4 I am thirsty, 
mother ; will you get me some milk ? ' 

4 Very well,' said she, ' but you had better begin your 
supper.' 

And when she came back with the milk they were 
both eating busily. 

4 Sit down and have something too,' said the boy, and 
she sat down and helped herself from the dish, but at the 
very first moment she sank dead upon the ground. 

4 She has got what she meant for us,' observed the 
boy ; ' and now we will sell all the sheep and cattle.' 

So the sheep and cattle were sold, and the uncle and 
nephew took the money and went to see the world. 

For ten days they travelled through the desert, and 
then they came to a place where the road parted in two. 

4 Uncle ! ' said the buy. 

4 Well, what is it? ' replied he. 

6 You see these two roads? You must take one, and 
I the other ; for the time has come when we must part.' 

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186 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FIXGER 

But the uncle cried. 'Xo. no, my boy, we will keep 
together always.' 

' Alas I that cannot be/ said the boy; 'so tell me 
which way you will go.' 

4 1 will go to the west.' said the uncle. 

4 One word before I leave you/ continued the boy. 
4 Beware of any man who has red hair and blue eyes. 
Take no service under him.' 

4 All right/ replied the uncle, and they parted. 

For three days the man wandered on without any 
food, till he was very hungry. Then, when he was almost 
fainting, a stranger met him and said, * Will you work for 
me? ' 

4 By contract? ' asked the man. 

4 Yes. by contract,' replied the stranger, 4 and which- 
ever of us breaks it, shall have a strip of skin taken from 
his body.' 

4 All right,' replied the man; 'what shall I have to 
do?' 

4 Every day you must take the sheep out to pasture, 
and carry my old mother on your shoulders, taking 
great care her feet shall never touch the ground. And. 
besides that, you must catch, every evening, seven singing 
birds for my seven sons.' 

' That is easily done/ said the man. 

Then they went back together, and the stranger said, 
4 Here are your ^heep : and now stoop down, and let my 
mother climb on your back.' 

• Very good/ answered Mohammed's uncle. 

The new shepherd did as he was told, and returned 
in the evening with the old woman on his back, and the 
seven singing birds in his pocket, which he gave to the 
seven boys, when they came to meet him. !So the days 
passed, each one exactly like the other. 

At last, one night, he began to weep, and cried : 4 Oh, 
what have I done, that I should have to perform such 
hateful tasks?' 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FIXGER 187 

And his nephew Mohammed saw him from afar, 
and thought to himself, c My uncle is in trouble — I must 
go and help him ; ' and the next morning he went to 
his master and said: k Dear master, I must go to my 




WCLE> 



uncle, and I wish to send him here instead of myself, 
while I serve under his master. And that yon may 
know it is he and no other man, I will give him my 
staff, and put my mantle on him.' 
; All right,' said the master. 



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188 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

Mohammed set out on his journey, and in two days 
he arrived at the place where his uuele was standing 
with the old woman on his back, trying to catch the 
birds as they flew past. And Mohammed touched him 
on the arm, and spoke : ' Dear uncle, did I not warn 
you never to take service under an} 7 blue-eyed red-haired 
man?' 

' But what could I do? 'asked the unele. 'I was 
hungry, and he passed, and we signed a contract.' 

4 Give the contract to me ! ' said the young man. 

' Here it is,' replied the uncle, holding U out. 

4 Now,' continued Mohammed, ' let the old woman 
get down from your back.' 

' Oh no, I mustn't do that! ' cried he. 

But the nephew paid no attention, and went on 
talking : ' Do not worry yourself about the future. I see 
my way out of it all. And, first, you must take my stick 
and my mantle and leave this place. After two days' 
journey, straight before you, you will come to some tents 
which are inhabited by shepherds. Go in there, and 
wait.' 

' All right! ' answered the uncle. 

Then Mohammed with the Magic Finger picked up a 
stick and struck the old woman with it, saying, ' Get 
down, and look after the sheep ; I want to go to sleep. '' 

' Oh, certainly! ' replied she. 

So Mohammed lay down comfortably under a tree 
and slept till evening. Towards sunset he woke up and 
said to the old woman: 'Where are the singing birds 
which you have got to catch?' 

6 You never told me anything about that/ replied she. 

< Oh, did n't I ? ' he answered. ' AVell, it is part of your 
business, and if you don't do it, I shall just kill you.' 

'Of course I will catch them!' cried she in a 
hurry, and ran about the bushes after the birds, till 
thorns pierced her foot, and she shrieked from pain 
and exclaimed, ' Oh dear, how unlucky I am ! and how 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 189 

abominably this man is treating me ! ' However, at 
last she managed to catch the seven birds, and brought 
them to Mohammed, saying, 4 Here they are! ' 

4 Then now we will go back to the house,' said he. 

When they had gone some way he turned to her 
sharply : 

4 Be quick and drive the sheep home, for I do not 
know where their fold is.' And she drove them before 
her. By-and-by the young man spoke : 

4 Look here, old hag ; if you say anything to your son 
about my having struck you, or about my not being the 
old shepherd, I '11 kill you ! ' 

4 Oh, no, of course I won't say anything ! ' 

When they got back, the son said to his mother: 4 That 
is a good shepherd I 've got, is n't he ? ' 

4 Oh, a splendid shepherd ! ' answered she. 4 Why, 
look how fat the sheep are, and how much milk they 
give ! ' 

c Yes, indeed ! ' replied the son, as he rose to get supper 
for his mother and the shepherd. 

In the time of Mohammed's uncle, the shepherd had had 
nothing to eat but the scraps left by the old woman ; but 
the new shepherd was not going to be content with that. 

fc You will not touch the food till I have had as much 
as I want,' whispered he. 

4 Very good ! ' replied she. And when he had had 
enough, he said : 

4 Now, eat!' But she wept, and cried: 4 That was 
not written in your contract. You were only to have 
what I left ! ' 

4 If you say a word more, I will kill you! ' said he. 

The next day he took the old woman on his back, and 
drove the sheep in front of him till he was some distance 
from the house, when he let her fall, and said : 4 Quick ! 
go and mind the sheep ! ' 

Then he took a ram, and killed it. He lit a fire and 
broiled some of its flesh, and called to the old woman: 

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100 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

'Come and eat with me!' and she came. But instead 
of letting her eat quietly, he took a large lump of the 
meat and rammed it down her throat with his crook, so 
that she died. And when he saw she was dead, he said: 
4 That is what you have got for tormenting my uncle ! ? and 
left her l} T ing where she was, while he went after the sing- 
ing birds. It took him a long time to catch them ; but at 
length he had the whole seven hidden in the pockets of his 
tunic, and then he threw the old woman's body into some 
bushes, and drove the sheep before him, back to their 
fold. And when they drew near the house the seven boys 
came to meet him, and he gave a bird to each. 

4 Why are you weeping? ' asked the boys, as they took 
their birds. 

4 Because your grandmother is dead! ' And they ran 
and told their father. Then the man came up and said 
to Mohammed: ' What was the matter? How did she 
die?' 

And Mohammed answered : ' I was tending the sheep 
when she said to me, "Kill me that ram; I am hungry !" 
So I killed it, and gave her the meat. But she had no 
teeth, and it choked her.' 

4 But why did you kill the ram, instead of one of the 
sheep ? ' asked the man . 

'What was I to do?' said Mohammed. 'I had to 
obey orders ! ' 

4 Well, I must see to her burial ! ' said the man ; and 
the next morning Mohammed drove out the sheep as 
usual, thinking to himself, 4 Thank goodness I've got rid 
of the old woman ! Now for the boys ! ' 

All day long he looked after the sheep, and towards 
evening he began to dig some little holes in the ground, 
out of which he took six scorpions. These he put in his 
pockets, together with one bird which he caught. After 
this he drove his flock home. 

When he approached the house the boys came out to 
meet him as before, saying: 4 Give me my bird ! ' and he 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 191 

put a scorpion into the hand of each, and it stung him, 
and he died. But to the youngest only he gave a bird. 

As soon as he saw the boys lying dead on the ground, 
Mohammed lifted up his voice and cried loudly : < Help, 
help! the children are dead ! ' 

And the people came running fast, saying: 'What 
has happened? How have they died?' 

And Mohammed answered : c It was your own 
fault ! The boys had been accustomed to birds, and in 
this bitter cold their fingers grew stiff, and could hold 
nothing, so that the birds flew away, and their spirits 
flew with them. Only the youngest, who managed to 
keep tight hold of his bird, is still alive.' 

And the father groaned, and said, ' I have borne 
enough ! Bring no more birds, lest I lose the youngest 
also ! ' 

' All right,' said Mohammed. 

As he was driving the sheep out to grass he said to his 
master: 4 Out there is a splendid pasture, and I will keep 
the sheep there for two or, perhaps, three days, so do not 
be surprised at our absence.' 

c Very good ! ' said the man ; and Mohammed started. 
For two days he drove them on and on, till he reached 
his uncle, and said to him, ' Dear uncle, take these sheep 
and look after them. I have killed the old woman and 
the boys, and the flock I have brought to you! ' 

Then Mohammed returned to his master ; and on the 
way he took a stone and beat his own head with it till it 
bled, and bound his hands tight, and began to scream. 
The master came running and asked, 'What is the 
matter? ' 

And Mohammed answered: 'While the sheep were 
grazing, robbers came and drove them away, and because 1 
tried to prevent them, they struck me on the head and 
bound my hands. See how bloody 1 am ! ' 

' AVhat shall we do? ' said the master; ; are the animals 
far off?' 

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192 MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

k So far that you are not likely ever to see them 
again,' replied Mohammed. ' This is the fourth day since 
the robbers came down. How should you be able to 
overtake them? ' 

* Then go and herd the cows ! ' said the man. 

4 All right ! ; replied Mohammed, and for two days he 
went. But on the third day he drove the cows to his 
uncle, first cutting off their tails. Only one cow he left 
behind him. 

'Take these cows, dear uncle, 5 said he. ' I am going 
to teach that man a lesson.' 

4 Well, I suppose you know your own business best,' 
said the uncle. ' And certainly he almost worried me to 
death.' 

So Mohammed returned to his master, carrying the 
cows' tails tied up in a bundle on his back. When he 
came to the sea-shore, he stuck all the tails in the sand, 
and went and buried the one cow, whose tail he had not 
cut off, up to her neck, leaving the tail projecting. After 
he had got everything ready, he began to shriek and 
scream as before, till his master and all the other servants 
came running to see what was the matter. 

4 What in the world has happened? ' they cried. 

4 The sea has swallowed up the cows/ said Mohammed, 
4 and nothing remains but their tails. But if you are 
quick and pull hard, perhaps you may get them out 
again ! ' 

The master ordered each man instantly to take hold 
4 of a tail, but at the first pull they nearly tumbled back- 
wards, and the tails were left in their hands. 

4 Stop,' cried Mohammed, 4 } T ou are doing it all wrong. 
You have just pulled off their tails, and the cows have 
sunk to the bottom of the sea.' 

4 See if you can do it any better,' said they ; and 
Mohammed ran to the cow which he had buried in the 
rough grass, and took hold of her tail and dragged the 
animal out at once. 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 103 

' There ! that is the way to do it ! ' said he, 'I told you 
you knew nothing about it! ' 

The men slunk away, much ashamed of themselves ; 
but the master came up to Mohammed. ' Get you gone I ' 
he said, ' there is nothing more for 3 T ou to do ! You have 
killed my mother, you have slain my children, you have 
stolen my sheep, you have drowned niy cows ; I have now 
no work to give you.' 

' First give me the strip of your skin which belongs to 
me of right, as you have broken your contract! ' 

4 That a judge shall decide/ said the master ; ' we will 
go before him.' 

' Yes, we will, 1 replied Mohammed. And they went 
before the judge. 

' What is your case? ' asked the judge of the master. 

' My lord,' said the man, bowing low, ' my shepherd 
here has robbed me of everything. He has killed my 
children and my old mother ; he has stolen my sheep, he 
has drowned my cows in the sea.' 

The shepherd answered : ' He must pay me what he 
owes me, and then I will go.' 

' Yes, that is the law,' said the judge. 

' Very well,' returned the master, ' let him reckon up 
how long he has been in my service.' 

' That won't do,' replied Mohammed, ' I want my strip 
of skin, as we agreed in the contract.' 

Seeing there was no help for it, the master cut a bit 
of skin, and gave it to Mohammed, who went off at once 
to his uncle. 

1 Now we are rich, dear uncle,' cried he, ' we will sell 
our cows and sheep and go to a new country. This one 
is no longer the place for us.' 

The sheep were soon sold, and the two comrades 
started on their travels. That night they reached some 
Bedouin tents, where they had supper with the Arabs. 
Before they lay down to sleep, Mohammed called the 

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19 i MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

owner of the tent aside. 4 Your greyhound will eat my 
strip of leather,' he said to the Arab. 

4 No ; do not fear.' 

4 But supposing he does?' 

4 Well, then, I will give him to you in exchange,' 
replied the Arab. 

Mohammed waited till everyone was fast asleep, then 
he rose softly, and tearing the bit of skin in pieces, threw 
it down before the greyhound, setting up wild shrieks as 
he did so. 

4 Oh, master, said I not well that your dog would eat 
my thong ? ' 

4 Be quiet, don't make such a noise, and you shall have 
the dog.' 

So Mohammed put a leash round his neck, and led 
him away. 

In the evening they arrived at the tents of some more 
Bedouin, and asked for shelter. After supper Mohammed 
said to the owner of the tent, ' Your ram will kill my 
greyhound.' 

4 Oh, no, he won't.' 

4 And supposing he does?' 

4 Then you can take him in exchange.' 

So in the night Mohammed killed the greyhound, and 
laid his body across the horns of the ram. Then he set 
up shrieks and yells, till he roused the Aral), who said * 
4 Take the ram and go away.' 

Mohammed did not need to be told twice, and at sun- 
set he reached another Bedouin encampment. He was 
received kindly, as usual, and after supper he said to his 
host : 4 Your daughter will kill my ram.' 

'- Be silent, she will do nothing of the sort; my 
daughter does not need to steal meat, she has some every 
day.' 

4 Very well, I will go to sleep ; but if anything happens 
to my ram I will call out.' 

4 If my daughter touches anything belonging to my 

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MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 105 

guest I will kill her,' said the Arab, and went to his 
bed. 

When everybody was asleep, Mohammed got up, 
killed the ram, and took out his liver, which he broiled 
on the fire. lie placed a piece of it in the girl's hands, 
and laid some more on her night-dress while she slept 
and knew nothing about it. After this he began to cry out 
loudly. 

' What is the matter? be silent at once! ' called the 
Arab. 

4 How can I be silent, when my ram, which I loved 
like a child, has been slain by your daughter?' 

' But my daughter is asleep/ said the Arab. 

4 Well, go and see if she has not some of the flesh 
about her.' 

' If she has, you may take her in exchange for the ram ; ' 
and as they found the flesh exactly as Mohammed had 
foretold, the Arab gave his daughter a good beating, and 
then told her to get out of sight, for she was now the 
property of this stranger. 

They wandered in the desert till, at nightfall, they came 
to a Bedouin encampment, where they were hospitably 
bidden to enter. Before lying down to sleep, Mohammed 
said to the owner of the tent: ' Your mare will kill my 
wife.' 

4 Certainly not.' 

' And if she does? ' 

1 Then you shall take the mare in exchange.' 

When everyone was asleep, Mohammed said softly to 
his wife: ; Maiden, I have got such a clever plan! I am 
going to bring in the mare and put it at your feet, and I 
will cut you, jnst a few little flesh wounds, so that you 
may be covered with blood, and everybody will suppose 
you to be dead. But remember that you must not make 
a sound, or we shall both be lost.' 

This was done, and then Mohammed wept and wailed 
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19G MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 

The Arab hastened to the spot and cried, c Oh, cease 
making that terrible noise! Take the mare and go ; but 
carry off the dead girl with you. She can lie quite easity 
across the mare's back.' 

Then Mohammed and his uncle picked up the girl, and, 
placing her on the mare's back, led it away, being very 
careful to walk one on each side, so that she might not 
slip down and hurt herself. After the' Arab tents could 
be seen no longer, the girl sat up on the saddle and looked 
about her, and as they were all hungry they tied up the 
mare, and took out some dates to eat. When they had 
finished, Mohamined said to his uncle : ' Dear uncle, the 
maiden shall be your wife ; I give her to you. But the 
money we got from the sheep and cows we will divide 
between us. You shall have two-thirds and I will have 
one. For you will have a wife, but I never mean to 
marry. And now, go in peace, for never more will you 
see me. The bond of bread and salt is at an end between 
ns.' 

So they wept, and fell on each other's necks, and 
asked forgiveness for any wrongs in the past. Then they 
parted and went their ways. 

[M'drchen rind Gedichte aus der Stadt Tripolis. Von Hans Stumine.] 



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197 



BOBINO 

Oxce on a time there was a rich merchant, who had an 
only son called Bobino. Now, as the boy was clever, 
and had a great desire for knowledge, his father sent him 
to be under a master, from whom he thought he would 
learn to speak all sorts of foreign languages. After some 
years with this master, Bobino returned to his home. 

One evening, as he and his father were walking in the 
garden, the sparrows in the trees above their heads began 
such a twittering, that they found it impossible to hear 
each other speak. This annoyed the merchant very 
much, so, to soothe him, Bobino said: 'Would you like 
me to explain to you what the sparrows are saying to 
each other? ' 

The merchant looked at his son in astonishment, and 
answered: k What can yon mean? How can you ex- 
plain what the sparrows say? Do you consider yourself 
a soothsayer or a magician? ' 

4 I am neither a soothsayer nor a magician,' answered 
Bobino; ' but my master taught me the language of all 
the animals.' 

' Alas ! for my good money ! ' exclaimed the mer- 
chant. ' The master has certainly mistaken my intention. 
Of course I meant you to learn the languages that human 
beings talk, and not the language of animals.' 

'Have patience,' answered the son. 'My master 
thought it best to begin with the language of animals, 
and later to learn the languages of human beings.' 



ir "^&^» 1 



198 BOBINO 

On their way into the house the dog ran to meet them, 
barking furiously. 

4 What can be the matter with the beast?' said the 
merchant. 4 Why should he bark at me like that, when 
he knows me quite well? ' 

'Shall I explain to you what he is saying?' said 
Bobino. 

1 Leave me in peace, and don't trouble me with your 
nonsense,' said the merchant quite crossly. 4 How my 
money has been wasted ! ' 

A little later, as they sat down to supper, some frogs 
in a neighbouring pond set up such a croaking as had 
never been heard. The noise so irritated the merchant 
that he quite lost his temper and exclaimed: 4 This only 
was wanting to add the last drop to my discomfort and 
disappointment.' 

4 Shall I explain to } T ou?' began Bobino. 

4 Will you hold your tongue with your explanations? ' 
shouted the merchant. 4 Go to bed, and don't let me see 
your face again ! ' 

So Bobino went to bed and slept soundl} 7 . But his 
father, who could not get over his disappointment at the 
waste of his money, was so angry, that he sent for two 
servants, and gave them orders, which they were to carry 
out on the following day. 

Next morning one of the servants awakened Bobino 
early, and made him get into a carriage that was waiting 
for him. The servant placed himself on the seat beside 
him, while the other servant rode alongside the carriage 
as an escort. Bobino could not understand what they 
were going to do with him, or where lie was being taken ; 
but he noticed that the servant beside him looked very 
sad, and his e} T es were all swollen with crying. 

Curious to know the reason he said to him : 4 Why 
are you so sad? and where are 3 T ou taking me?' 

But the servant would say nothing. At last, moved 
by Bobino's entreaties, he said : 4 My poor boy, I am 

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BOBINO 109 

taking you to your death, and, what is worse, T am doing 
so by the order of your father.' 

' But why,' exclaimed Bobino, ' dues he want me to 
die? What evil have I done him, or what fault have I 
committed that he should wish to bring about my death?' 

6 You have done him no evil,' answered the servant, 
'neither have you committed any fault; but he is half 
mad with anger because, in all these years of study, you 
have learnt nothing but the language of animals. He 
expected something quite different from you, that is why 
he is determined } t ou shall die.' 

' If that is the case, kill me at once,' said Bobino. 
4 What is the use of waiting, if it must be done? ' 

' I have not the heart to do it,' answered the servant. 
1 1 would rather think of some way of saving your life, 
and at the same time of protecting ourselves from your 
father's anger. By good luck the dog has followed us. 
W r e will kill it, and cut out the heart and take it back to 
your father. He will believe it is yours, and you, in the 
meantime, will have made your escape.' 

When they had readied the thickest part of the wood, 
Bobino got out of the carriage, and having said good-bye 
to the servants set out on his wanderings. 

On and on he walked, till at last, late in the evening,- 
he came to a house where some herdsmen lived. He 
knocked at the door and begged for shelter for the night. 
The herdsmen, seeing how gentle a youth he seemed, 
made him welcome, and bade him sit down and share 
their supper. 

While they were eating it, the dog in the courtyard 
began to bark. Bobino walked to the window, listened 
attentively for a minute, and then turning to the herds- 
men said : ' Send your wives and daughters at once to 
bed, and arm yourselves as best you can, because at mid- 
night a band of robbers will attack this house.' 

The herdsmen were quite taken aback, and thought 
that the youth must have taken leave of his senses. 

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200 BOBINO 

' How can yon know,' they said, ' that a band of 
robbers mean to attack ns? Who told you so?' 

' I know it from the dog's barking,' answered Bobino. 
' I understand his language, and if I had not been here, 
the poor beast would have wasted his breath to no pur- 
pose. You had better follow my advice, if you wish to 
save your lives and property.' 

The herdsmen were more and more astonished, but 
the} 7 decided to do as Bobino advised. They sent their 
wives and daughters upstairs, then, having armed them- 
selves, they took up their position behind a hedge, wait- 
ing for midnight. 

Just as the clock struck twelve they heard the sound 
of approaching footsteps, and a band of robbers cau- 
tiously advanced towards the house. But the herdsmen 
were on the lookout ; they sprang on the robbers from 
behind the hedge, and with blows from their cudgels soon 
put them to flight. 

You may believe how grateful they were to Bobino, 
to whose timely warning the} 7 owed their safety. They 
begged him to stay and make his home with them ; but 
as he wanted to see more of the world, he thanked them 
warmly for their hospitality, and set out once more on 
his wanderings. All day he walked, and in the evening- 
he came to a peasant's house. While he was wondering 
whether he should knock and demand shelter for the 
night, he heard a great croaking of frogs in a ditch behind 
the house. Stepping to the back he saw a very strange 
sight. Four frogs were throwing a small bottle about 
from one to the other, making a great croaking as they 
did so. Bobino listened for a few minutes, and then 
knocked at the door of the house. It was opened by the 
peasant, who asked him to come in and have some 
supper. 

When the meal was over, his host told him that they 
were in great trouble, as his eldest daughter was so ill, 
that they feared she could not recover. A great doctor, 

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BOBINO 203 

who had been passing that way some time before, had 
promised to send her some medicine that would have 
cured her, but the servant to whom he had entrusted the 
medicine had let it drop on the way back, and now there 
seemed no hope for the girl. 

Then Bobino told the father of the small bottle he 
had seen the frogs play with, and that he knew that was 
the medicine which the doctor had sent to the girl. The 
peasant asked him how he could be sure of this, and 
Bobino explained to him that he understood the language 
of animals, and had heard what the frogs said as they 
tossed the bottle about. 80 the peasant fetched the 
bottle from the ditch, and gave the medicine to his 
daughter. In the morning she was much better, and the 
grateful father did not know how to thank Bobino enough. 
But Bobino would accept nothing from him, and having 
said good-bye, set out once more on his wanderings. 

One day, soon after this, he came upon two men rest- 
ing under a tree in the heat of the day. Being tired he 
stretched himself on the ground at no great distance 
from them, and soon they all three began to talk to one 
another. In the course of conversation, Bobino asked 
the two men where they were going; and they replied 
that they were on their way to a neighbouring town, 
where, that day, a new ruler was to be chosen by the 
people. 

While they were still talking, some sparrows settled 
on the tree under which they were lying. Bobino was 
silent, and appeared to be listening attentively. At the 
end of a few minutes he said to his companions, ' Do you 
know what those sparrows are saying? They are saying 
that to-day one of us will be chosen ruler of that town.' 

The men said nothing, but looked at each other. A 
few minutes later, seeing that Bobino had fallen asleep, 
they stole away, and made with all haste for the town, 
where the election of a new ruler was to take place. 

A great crowd was assembled in the market-place, 

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204 BOBINO 

waiting for the hour when an eagle should be let loose 
from a cage, for it had been settled that on whose-soever 
house the eagle alighted, the owner of that house should 
become ruler of the town. At last the hour arrived ; the 
eagle was set free, and all eyes were strained to see 
where it would alight. But circling over the heads of 
the crowd, it Hew straight in the direction of a young 
man, who was at that moment entering- the town. This 
was none other than Bobino, who had awakened soon 
after his companions had left him, and had followed in 
their footsteps. All the people shouted and proclaimed 
that he was their future ruler, and he was conducted by 
a great crowd to the Governor's house, which was for the 
future to be his home. And here he lived happily, and 
ruled wisely over the people. 



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205 



THE DOG AND THE SPARROW 

Theke was once upon a time a sheep-dog whose master 
was so unkind that he starved the poor beast, and ill- 
treated him in the cruellest manner. At last the dog 
determined to stand this ill-usage no longer, and, one day, 
he ran away from home. As he was trotting along the 
road he met a sparrow, who stopped him and said: 
' Brother, why do you look so sad ? ' 

The dog answered : 4 I am sad because I am hungry, 
and have nothing to eat.' 

4 It* that's all, dear brother,' said the sparrow, ' come 
to the town with me, and I '11 soon get food for you.' 

So they went together to the town, and when they came 
to a butcher's shop, the sparrow said to the dog: ; You 
stand still and I '11 peck down a piece of meat for you.' 

First she looked all round to see that no one was watch- 
ing her, and then she set to work to peck at a piece of 
meat that lay on the edge of a shelf, till at last it fell down. 
The dog seized it ravenously, and ran with it to a dark 
corner where he gobbled it up in a very few minutes. 

When he had finished it, the sparrow said : ' Now come 
with me to another shop, and I will get you a second 
piece, so that your hunger may be satisfied.' When the 
dog had finished the second piece of meat, the sparrow 
asked him: k Brother, have yon had enough now?' 

'Yes,' replied the dog, c I 've had quite enough meat 
but I haven't had any bread yet.' 

The sparrow said : ; You shall have as much bread as 
you like, only come with me.' Then she led him to a 

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206 THE DOG AND THE SPARROW 

baker's shop, and pecked so long at two rolls on a shelf 
that at last they fell down, and the dog ate them up. 

But still his hunger was not appeased ; so the sparrow 
took him to another baker's shop, and got some more 
rolls for him. Then she asked him: 4 Well, brother, are 
you satisfied? ' 

' Yes,' he replied ; c and now let us go for a little walk 
outside the town.' 

So the two went for a stroll into the country ; but the day 
was very hot, and after they had gone a short distance the 
dog said : 4 1 am very tired, and would like to go to sleep.' 

1 Sleep, then,' said the sparrow, ' and I will keep watch 
meantime on the branch of a tree.' 

So the dog lay down in the middle of the road, and was 
soon fast asleep. While he was sleeping a carter passed 
by, driving a waggon drawn by three horses, and laden 
with two barrels of wine. The sparrow noticed that the 
man was not going out of his way to avoid the dog, but 
was driving right in the middle of the road where the 
poor animal lay ; so she called out : ' Carter, take care 
what you are about, or I shall make you suffer for it.' 

But the carter merely laughed at her words, and, 
cracking his whip, he drove his waggon right over the dog, 
so that the heavy wheels killed him. 

Then the sparrow called out : ; You have caused my 
brother's death, and your cruelty will cost you your 
waggon and horses.' 

'Waggon and horses, indeed,' said the carter; 'I'd 
like to know how you could rob me of them ! ' 

The sparrow said nothing, but crept under the cover of 
the waggon and pecked so long at the bunghole of one 
of the barrels that at last she got the cork away, and all 
the wine ran out without the carter's noticing it. 

But at last he turned round and saw that the bottom 
of the cart was wet, and when he examined it, he found 
that one of the barrels was quite empty, 4 Oh ! what an 
unlucky fellow I am 1 ' he exclaimed. 

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THE DOG AND THE SPARROW 207 

'You'll have worse luck still,' said the sparrow, as she 
perched ou the head of one of the horses and pecked out 
its eyes. 




When the carter saw what had happened, he seized 
an axe and tried to hit the sparrow with it, hat the little 

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208 THE DOG AND THE SPARROW 

bird flew up into the air, and the carter only hit the blind 
horse on the head, so that it fell down dead. c Oh ! what 
an unlucky fellow I am! ' he exclaimed again. 

' You '11 have worse luck yet,' said the sparrow ; and 
when the carter drove on with his two horses she crept 
under the covering again, and pecked away at the cork of 
the second barrel till she got it away, and all the wine 
poured out on to the road. 

When the carter perceived this fresh disaster he called 
out once more : c Oh ! what an unlucky fellow I am ! ' 

But the sparrow answered : l Your bad luck is not over 
yet,' and flying on to the head of the second horse she 
pecked out its eyes. 

The carter jumped out of the waggon and seized his 
axe, with which he meant to kill the sparrow ; but the 
little bird flew high into the air, and the blow fell on the 
poor blind horse instead, and killed it on the spot. Then 
the carter exclaimed : k Oh ! what an unlucky fellow I am ! ' 

4 You 've not got to the end of your bad luck yet,' sang 
the sparrow ; and, perching on the head of the third horse, 
she pecked out its eyes. 

The carter, blind with rage, let his axe fly at the bird ; 
but once more she escaped the blow, which fell on the only 
remaining horse, and killed it. And again the carter 
called out: 'Oh! what an unlucky fellow I am!' 

' You'll have worse luck yet/ said the sparrow, 4 for now 
I mean to make your home desolate.' 

The carter had to leave his waggon on the road, and 
he went home in a towering passion. As soon as he saw 
his wife, he called out : ' Oh ! what bad luck I have had ! 
all my wine is spilt, and my horses are all three dead.' 

' My dear husband, ' replied his wife, 4 your bad luck 
pursues you, for a wicked little sparrow has assembled 
all the other birds in the world, and they are in our barn 
eating everything up.' 

The carter went out to the barn where he kept his 
corn and found it was just as his wife had said* Thou- 

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THE DOG AND THE SPARROW 209 

sands and thousands of birds were eating up the grain, 
and in the middle of them sat the little sparrow. When 
he saw his old enemy, the carter cried out: ' Oh! what 
an unlucky fellow I am ! ' 

4 Not unlucky enough yet/ answered the sparrow, ' for, 
mark my words, carter, your cruel conduct will cost you 
your life ; ' and with these words she flew into the air. 

The carter was much depressed by the loss of all his 
worldly goods, and sat down at the fire plotting vengeance 
on the sparrow, while the little bird sat on the window 
ledge and sang in mocking tones : ' Yes, carter, your cruel 
conduct will cost you your life.' 

Then the carter seized his axe and threw it at the 
sparrow, but he only broke the window panes, and did 
not do the bird a bit of harm. She hopped in through the 
broken window and, perching on the mantelpiece, she 
called out : 4 Yes, carter, it will cost you your life.' 

The carter, quite beside himself with rage, flew at 
the sparrow again with his axe, but the little creature 
always eluded his blows, and he only succeeded in 
destroying all his furniture. At last, however, he 
managed to catch the bird in his hands. Then his wife 
called out : 4 Shall I wring her neck? ' 

4 Certainly not,' replied her husband, ' that would be 
far too easy a death for her; she must die in a far 
crueller fashion than that. I will eat her alive ; ' and he 
suited the action to his words. But the sparrow fluttered 
and struggled inside him till she got up into the man's 
mouth, and then she popped out her head and said: ; Yes, 
carter, it will cost you your life.' 

The carter handed bis wife the axe, and said: ' Wife, 
kill the bird in my mouth dead.' 

The woman struck with all her might, but she missed 
the bird and hit the carter right on the top of his head, so 
that he fell down dead. But the sparrow escaped out of 
his mouth and flew away into the air. 

Srom the German, Kletfce.] 
u Microsoft® 



210 



THE STORY OF THE THREE SONS 
OF HALT 

Till his eighteenth birthday the young Neangir lived 
happily in a village about forty miles from Constantino- 
ple, believing that Mohammed and Zinebi his wife, who 
had brought him up, were his real parents. 

Neangir was quite content with his lot, though he was 
neither rich nor great, and unlike most } T oung men of his 
age had no desire to leave his home. He was therefore 
completely taken by surprise when one day Mohammed 
told him with many sighs that the time had now come 
for him to go to Constantinople, and fix on a profession 
for himself. The choice would be left to him, but he 
would probably prefer either to be a soldier or one of 
the doctors learned in the law, who explain the Koran 
to the ignorant people. c You know the holy book nearly 
by heart,' ended the old man, ' so that in a ver} 7 short 
time you would be fitted to teach others. But write to 
us and tell us how you pass your life, and we, on our 
side, will promise never to forget you. 7 

So saying, Mohammed gave Neangir four piastres 
to start him in the great city, and obtained leave for 
him to join a caravan which was about to set off for 
Constantinople. 

The journey took some days, as caravans go very 
slowly, but at last the walls and towers of the capital 
appeared in the distance. TV nen the caravan halted the 
travellers went their different ways, and Neangir was left, 
feeling very strange and rather lonely. He had plenty of 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF KALI 211 

courage and made friends very easily; still, not only was 
it the first time be bad left the village where he had been 
brought up, but no one had ever spoken to him of Con- 
stantinople, and he did not so much as know the name 
of a single street or of a creature who lived in it. 

Wondering what be was to do next, Neangir stood 
still for a moment to look about him, when suddenly a 
pleasant-looking man came up, and bowing politely, asked 
if the youth would do him the honour of staying in his 
house till he had made some plans for himself. Neangir, 
not seeing anything else he could do, accepted the 
stranger's offer and followed him home. 

They entered a large room, where a girl of about twelve 
years old was laying three places at the table. 

' Zelida,' said the stranger, ' was I not quite right 
when I told you that I should bring back a friend to sup 
with us? ' 

1 My father,' replied the girl, ' you are always right in 
what you say, and what is better still, you never mislead 
others.' As she spoke, an old slave placed on the table a 
dish called pillau, made of rice and meat, which is a great 
favourite among people in the East, and setting down 
glasses of sherbet before each person, left the room 
quietly. 

During the meal the host talked a great deal upon all 
sorts of subjects ; but Neangir did nothing but look at 
Zelida, as far as he could without being positively rude. 

The girl blushed and grew uncomfortable, and at 
last turned to her father. ' The stranger's eyes never 
wander from me,' she said in a low and hesitating voice. 
4 If Hassan should hear of it, jealousy will make him 
mad.' 

4 No, no,' replied the father, ' you are certainly not for 
this young man. Did I not tell you before that I intend 
him for your sister Argentine. I will at once take 
measures to fix his heart upon her,' and he rose and 
opened a cupboard, from which he took some fruits and a 

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212 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALT 

jug of wine, which he put on the table, together with a 
small silver and mother-of-pearl box. 

4 Taste this wine/ he said to the young man, pouring 
some into a glass. 

4 Give me a little, too,' cried Zelida. 

4 Certainly not/ answered her father, 4 you and Hassan 
both had as much as was good for you the other day.' 

'Then drink some yourself/ replied'she, 'or this young 
man will think we mean to poison him.' 

4 Well, if you wish, I will do so/ said the father ; ; this 
elixir is not dangerous at my age, as it is at yours.' 

When Neangir had emptied his glass, his host opened 
the mother-of-pearl box and held it out to him. Neangir 
was beside himself with delight at the picture of a young 
maiden more beautiful than anything he had ever dreamed 
of. He stood speechless before it, while his breast 
swelled with a feeling quite new to him. 

His two companions watched him with amusement, 
until at last Neangir roused himself. ' Explain to me, 1 
pray you/ he said, 4 the meaning of these mysteries. 
Why did you ask me here? Why did you force me to 
drink this dangerous liquid which has set fire to my 
blood? Why have you shown me this picture which has 
almost deprived me of reason? ' 

4 I will answer some of your questions,' replied his 
host, ' but all, I may not. The picture that you hold in 
your hand is that of Zelida's sister. It has filled your 
heart with love for her; therefore, go and seek her. 
When you find her, you will find yourself/ 

'But where shall I find her?' cried Neangir, kissing 
the charming miniature on which his e} T es were fixed. 

4 I am unable to tell you more/ replied his host 
cautiously. 

' But I can/ interrupted Zelida eagerly. ' To-morrow 
you must go to the Jewish bazaar, and buy a watch from 
the second shop on the right hand. And at midnight ' 

But what was to happen at midnight, Neangir did 

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STORY OF TUB THREE SONS OF HALT 213 

not hear, for Zelida's father hastily laid his hand over 
her month, crying: ' Oh, be silent, child! Would 
yon draw down on yon by imprudence the fate of 




your unhappy sisters? ' Hardly had he uttered the 
words, when a thick black vapour rose about him, pro- 
ceeding from the precious bottle, which his rapid 
movement had overturned. The old slave rushed in and 
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211 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIAL1 

shrieked loudly, while Neangir, upset by this strange ad- 
venture, left the house. 

He passed the rest of the night on the steps of a 
mosque, and with the first streaks of dawn he took his 
picture out of the folds of his turban. Then, remember- 
ing Zelida's words, he inquired the w T ay to the bazaar, 
and went straight to the shop she had described. 

In answer to Neangir's request to- be shown some 
watches, the merchant produced several and pointed out 
the one which he considered the best. The price was three 
gold pieces, which Neangir readily agreed to give him ; 
but the man made a difficulty about handing over the 
watch unless he knew where his customer lived. 

1 That is more than I know myself,' replied Neangir. 
4 1 only arrived in the town yesterday and cannot find the 
way to the house where I went first/ 

4 Well,' said the merchant, ' come with me, and I will 
take you to a good Mussulman, where you will have every- 
thing you desire at a small charge/ 

Neangir consented, and the two walked together 
through several streets till they reached the house recom- 
mended by the Jewish merchant. By his advice the 
young man paid in advance the last gold piece that 
remained to him for his food and lodging. 

As soon as Neangir had dined he shut himself up in 
his room, and thrusting his hand into the folds of his 
turban, drew out his beloved portrait. As he did so, he 
touched a sealed letter which had apparently been hidden 
there without his knowledge, and seeing it was written by 
his foster-mother, Zinebi, he tore it eagerly open. Judge 
of his surprise when he read these words: 

4 My dearest Child, — This letter, which you will some 
day find in your turban, is to inform you that you are not 
really our son. We believe your father to have been a 
oreat lord in some distant laud, and inside this packet is 
a letter from him, threatening to be avenged on us if you 
are not restored to him at once. We shall always love 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 215 

you, but do not seek us or even write to us. It will be 
useless.' 

In the same wrapper was a roll of paper with a few 
words as follows, traced in a hand unknown to Neangir : 

4 Traitors, you are no doubt in league with those 
magicians who have stolen the two daughters of the un- 
fortunate Siroco, and have taken from them the talisman 
given them by their father. You have kept my son from 
me, but J have found out your hiding-place and swear by 
the Holy Prophet to punish your crime. The stroke of 
my scimitar is swifter than the lightning.' 

The unhappy Neangir on reading these two letters — 
of which he understood absolutely nothing — felt sadder 
and more lonely than ever. It soon dawned on him that 
he must be the son of the man who had written to 
Mohammed and his wife, but he did not know where to 
look for him, and indeed thought much more about the 
people who had brought him up and whom he was never 
to see again. 

To shake off these gloomy feelings, so as to be able 
to make some plans for the future, Neangir left the house 
and walked briskly about the city till darkness had fallen. 
He then retraced his steps and was just crossing the 
threshold when he saw something at his feet sparkling in 
the moonlight. He picked it up, and discovered it to be 
a gold watch shining with precious stones. He gazed 
up and down the street to see if there was anyone about 
to whom it might belong, but there was not a creature 
visible. So he put it in his sash, by the side of a silver 
watch which he had bought from the Jew that morning. 

The possession of this piece of good fortune cheered 
Neangir up a little, ' for,' thought he, ' I can sell these 
jewels for at least a thousand sequins, and that will 
certainly last me till I have found my father.' And con- 
soled by this reflection he laid both watches beside him 
and prepared to sleep. 

In the middle of the night he awoke suddenly and 

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21 G STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IT ALT 

heard a soft voice speaking, which seemed to come from 
one of the watches. 

' Aurora, my sister,' it whispered gently. ' Did they 
remember to wind you up at midnight?' 

' No, dear Argentine/ was the reply. ' And you? ' 

'They forgot me, too,' answered the first voice, c and 
it is now one o'clock, so that we shall not be able to 
leave our prison till to-morrow ■ — if we are not forgotten 
again — then.' 

i We have nothing now to do here,' said Aurora. 'We 
must resign ourselves to our fate — let us go.' 

Killed with astonishment Neangir sat up in bed, and 
beheld by the light of the moon the two watches slide to 
the ground and roll out of the room past the cats' quarters, 
lie rushed towards the door and on to the staircase, but 
the watches slipped downstairs without his seeing them, 
and into the street. He tried to unlock the door and 
follow them, but the key refused to turn, so he gave up the 
chase and went back to bed. 

The next day all his sorrows returned with tenfold 
force. lie felt himself lonelier and poorer than ever, 
and in a fit of despair he thrust his turban on his head, 
stuck his sword in his belt, and left the house determined 
to seek an explanation from the merchant who had sold 
him the silver watch. 

When Neangir reached the bazaar he found the man 
he sought was absent from his shop, and his place filled 
by another Jew. 

4 It is my brother you want,' said he; { we keep the 
shop in turn, and in turn go into the city to do our 
business.' 

' Ah ! what business? ' cried Neangir in a fury. ' You 
are the brother of a scoundrel who sold me yesterday 
a watch that ran away in the night. But I will find it 
somehow, or else you shall pay for it, as you are his 
brother ! ' 

4 What is that you say? ' asked the Jew, around whom 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HAL I 217 

a crowd had rapidly gathered. 'A watch that ran away. 
If it had been a cask of wine, your story might be true, 
but a watch ! That is hardly possible! ' 

* The Cadi shall say whether it is possible or not,' replied 
Neangir, who at that moment perceived the other Jew 
enter the bazaar. Darting up, he seized him by the arm 
and dragged him to the Cadi's house ; but not before the 
man whom he had found in the shop contrived to whisper 
to his brother, in a tone loud enough for Neangir to hear, 
' Confess nothing, or we shall both be lost/ 

When the Cadi was informed of what had taken place 
he ordered the crowd to be dispersed by blows, after the 
Turkish manner, and then asked Neangir to state his 
complaint. After hearing the young man's story, which 
seemed to him most extraordinary, he turned to question 
the Jewish merchant, who instead of answering raised 
his eyes to heaven and fell down in a dead faint. 

The judge took no notice of the swooning man, but 
told Neangir that his tale was so singular he really could 
not believe it, and that he should have the merchant 
carried back to his own house. This so enraged Neangir 
that he forgot the respect due to the Cadi, and exclaimed 
at the top of his voice, 4 Kecover this fellow from his 
fainting fit, and force him to confess the truth,' giving 
the Jew as he spoke a blow with his sword which caused 
him to utter a piercing scream. 

4 You see for yourself,' said the Jew to the Cadi, i that 
this young man is out of his mind. I forgive him his 
blow, but do not, I pray you, leave me in his power.' 

At that moment the Bassa chanced to pass the Cadi's 
house, and hearing a great noise, entered to inquire 
the cause. AVlien the matter was explained, he looked 
attentively at Neangir, and asked him gently how all 
these marvels could possibly have happened. 

c My lord,' replied Neangir, w I swear I have spoken 
the truth, and perhaps you will believe me when I tell 
you that I mvself have been the victim of spells wrought 

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218 STOBY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALT 

by people of this kind, who should be rooted out from 
the earth. For three years I was changed into a three- 
legged pot, and only returned to man's shape when one 
day a turban was laid upon my lid.' 

At these words the Bassa rent his robe for joy, and 
embracing Neangir, he cried, c Oh, my son, my son, have I 
found you at last? J)o you not come from the house of 
Mohammed and Zinebi?' 

' Yes, my lord,' replied Neangir, 6 it was they who 
took "care of me during my misfortune, and taught me 
by their example to be less worthy of belonging to you.' 

'Blessed be the Prophet,' said the Bassa, 'who has 
restored one of my sons to me, at the time I least 
expected it! You know,' he continued, addressing the 
Cadi, < that during the first years of my marriage I had 
three sons by the beautiful Zambac. When he was 
three years old a holy dervish gave the eldest a string of 
the finest coral, saying " Keep this treasure carefully, and 
be faithful to the Prophet, and you will be happy." To 
the second, who now stands before you, he presented 
a copper plate on which the name of Mahomet was 
engraved in seven languages, telling him never to part 
from his turban, which was the sign of a true believer, 
and he would taste the greatest of all joys; while on the 
right arm of the third the dervish clasped a bracelet 
with the prayer that his right hand should be pure and 
the left spotless, so that he might never know sorrow. 

' My eldest son neglected the counsel of the dervish 
and terrible troubles fell on him, as also on the youngest. 
To preserve the second from similar misfortunes I 
brought him up in a lonely place, under the care of a 
faithful servant named Gouloucou, while I was fighting 
the enemies of our Holy Faith. On my return from the 
wars I hastened to embrace my son, but both he and 
Gouloucou had vanished, and it is only a few months since 
that L learned that the boy was living with a man called 
Mohammed, whom I suspected of having stolen him. 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HAL I 219 

Tell me, my son, how it came about that you fell into 
his hands.' 

4 My lord,' replied Neangir, 4 I can remember little of 
the early years of my life, save that I dwelt in a castle 
by the seashore with an old servant. I must have been 
about twelve years old when one day as we were out 
walking we met a man whose face was like that of this 




Jew, coming dancing towards us. Suddenly I felt nryself 
growing faint. I tried to raise my hands to my head, but 
they had become stiff and hard. In a word, T had been 
changed into a copper pot, and my arms formed the 
handle. What happened to my companion I know not, 
but I was conscious that some one had picked me up, and 
was carrying me quickly away. 

' After some days, or so it seemed to .me. I was placed 

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220 STOEY OF THE THREE SONS OF IFALI 

on the ground near a thick hedge, and when I heard my 
captor snoring beside me I resolved to make my escape. 
So I pushed my way among the thorns as well as 1 could, 
and walked on steadily for about an hour. 

i You cannot imagine, my lord, how awkward it is 
to walk with three legs, especially when your knees are 
as stiff as mine were. At length after much difficulty I 
reached a market- garden, and hid myself deep down 
among the cabbages, where I passed a quiet night. 

4 The next morning, at sunrise, I felt some one stoop- 
ing over me and examining me closety. "What have 
you got there, Zinebi?" said the voice of a man a little 
way off. 

' " The most beautiful pot in the whole world," answered 
the woman beside me, tC and who would have dreamed of 
finding it among my cabbages ! " 

4 Mohammed lifted me from the ground and looked at 
me with admiration. That pleased me, for every one 
likes to be admired, even if he is only a pot ! And 1 was 
taken into the house and -filled with water, and put on 
the fire to boil. 

' For three years I led a quiet and useful life, being 
scrubbed bright every day by Zinebi, then a young and 
beautiful woman. 

c One morning Zinebi set me on the fire, with a fine 
fillet of beef inside me to cook for dinner. Being afraid 
that some of the steam would escape through the lid, and 
that the taste of her stew would be spoilt, she looked 
about for something to put over the cover, but could see 
nothing handy but her husband's turban. She tied it 
firmly round the lid, and then left the room. For the 
first time during three years I began to feel the fire 
burning the soles of my feet, and moved away a little — 
doing this with a great deal more ease than I had felt 
when making my escape to Mohammed's garden. I was 
somehow aware, too, that I was growing taller ; in fact 
in a few minutes I was a man again. 

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there: applaud 
in the: doorway 

I A UOVE1LY JEWESS 




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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HAL I 223 

' After the third hour of prayer Mohammed and Zinebi 
both returned, and you can guess their surprise at find- 
ing a young man in the kitchen instead of a copper 
pot ! I told them my story, which at first they refused to 
believe, but in the end I succeeded in persuading them 
that I was speaking the truth. For two years more I 
lived with them, and was treated like their own son, till 
the day when they sent me to this city to seek my fortune. 
And now, my lords, here are the two letters which I found 
in my turban, Perhaps they may be another proof in 
favour of my story.' 

Whilst Neangir was speaking, the blood from the 
Jew's wound had gradually ceased to flow; and at this 
moment there appeared in the doorway a lovely Jewess, 
about twenty-two years old, her hair and her dress all 
disordered, as if she had been flying from some great 
danger. In one hand she held two crutches of white 
wood, and was followed by two men. The first man 
Neangir knew to be the brother of the Jew he had struck 
with his sword, while iu the second the } T oung man thought 
he recognised the person who was standing hy when he 
was changed into a pot. Both of these men had a wide 
linen band round their thighs and held stout sticks. 

The Jewess approached the wounded man and laid 
the two crutches near him; then, fixing her eyes on him, 
she burst into tears. 

' Unhappy Izouf,' she murmured, ' why do you suffer 
yourself to be led into such dangerous adventures? Look 
at the consequences, not only to 3 T ourself, but to your two 
brothers,' turning as she spoke to the men who had come 
in with her, and who had sunk down on the mat at the 
feet of the Jew. 

The Bassa and his companions were struck both with 
the beauty of the Jewess and also with her words, and 
begged her to give them an explanation. 

' My lords,' she said, ' my name is Sumi, and I am the 
daughter of Moize^^ j^^^Jg^W rabbis - J 



224 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF MALI 

am the victim of my love for Izaf ; ' pointing to the man 
who had entered last, ' and in spite of his ingratitude, I 
cannot tear him from my heart. Cruel enemy of my life,' 
she continued, turning to Izaf, i tell these gentlemen your 
story and that of your brothers, and try to gain } T our 
pardon by repentance.' 

4 We all three were born at the same time,' said the 
Jew, obeying the command of Sumi at a sign from the 
Cadi, 4 and are the sons of the famous Nathan Ben-Sadi, 
who gave us the names of Izif, Izouf, and Izaf. From 
our earliest years we were taught the secrets of magic, 
and as we were all born under the same stars we 
shared the same happiness and the same troubles. 

i Our mother died before I can remember, and when 
we were fifteen our father was seized with a dangerous 
illness which no spells could cure. Feeling death draw 
near, he called us to his bedside and took leave of us in 
these words : 

' ct My sons, I have no riches to bequeath to you; my 
only wealth was those secrets of magic which you know. 
Some stones you already have, engraved with mystic signs, 
and long ago I taught you how to make others. But you still 
lack the most precious of all talismans — the three rings 
belonging to the daughters of Siroco. Try to get posses- 
sion of them, but take heed on beholding these young 
girls that } T ou do not fall under the power of their beauty. 
Their religion is different from yours, and further, they 
are the betrothed brides of the sons of the Bassa of the Sea. 
And to preserve you from a love which can bring you 
nothing but sorrow, I counsel 3 T ou in time of peril to seek 
out the daughter of Mo'i'zes the Rabbi, who cherishes 
a hidden passion for Izaf, and possesses the Book of 
Spells, which her father himself wrote with the sacred 
ink that was used for the Talmud." So saying, our 
father fell back on his cushions and died, leaving us 
burning with desire for the three rings of the daughters 
of Siroeo. 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 227 

1 No sooner were our sad duties finished than we began 
io make inquiries where these young ladies were to be 
found, and we learned after much trouble that Siroco, 
their father, had fought in many wars, and that his 
daughters, whose beauty was famous throughout all the 
land, were named Aurora, Argentine, and Zelida.' 

At the second of these names^ both the Bassa and his 
son gave a start of surprise, but they said nothing, and 
Izaf went on with his story. 

' The first thing to be done was to put on a disguise, 
and it was in the dress of foreign merchants that we at 
length approached the young ladies, taking care to carry 
with us a collection of fine stones which we had hired for 
the occasion. But alas! it was to no purpose that Nathan 
Ben-Sadi had warned us to close our hearts against their 
charms ! The peerless Aurora was clothed in a garment 
of golden hue, studded all over with flashing jewels ; the 
fair-haired Argentine wore a dress of silver, and the young 
Zelida, loveliest of them all, the costume of a Persian 
lady. 

* Among other curiosities that we had brought with us, 
was a flask containing an elixir which had the quality of 
exciting love in the breasts of any man or woman who 
drank of it. This had been given me by the fair Sumi, 
who had used it herself and was full of wrath because I 
refused to drink it likewise, and so return her passion. I 
showed this liquid to the three maidens who were en- 
gaged in examining the precious stones, and choosing those 
that pleased them best; and I was in the act of pouring 
some in a crystal cup, when Zelida's eyes fell on a paper 
wrapped round the flask containing these words : 
u Beware lest } t ou drink this water with any other man 
than him who will one day be your husband. " u Ah, 
traitor! " she exclaimed, " what snare have you laid for 
me? " and glancing where her finger pointed I recognised 
the writing of Sumi. 

' By this time my two brothers had already got posses- 

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22* STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 

sion of the rings of Aurora and Argentine in exchange 
for some merchandise which they coveted, and no sooner 
had the magic circles left their hands than the two 
sisters vanished complete!} 7 , and in their place nothing 
was to be seen but a watch of gold and one of silver. At 
this instant the old slave whom we had bribed to let us 
enter the house, rushed into the room announcing the 
return of Zelida's father. My brothers, trembling with 
fright, hid the watches in their turbans, and while the 
slave was attending to Zelida, who had sunk fainting to 
the ground, we managed to make our escape. 

' Fearing to be traced by the enraged Siroco, we did not 
dare to go back to the house where we lodged, but took 
refuge with Sumi. 

' " Unhappy wretches ! " cried she, 'Ms it thus that you 
have followed the counsels of your father? This very 
morning I consulted my magic books, and saw you in the 
act of abandoning your hearts to the fatal passion which 
will one day be your ruin. No, do not think I will 
tamely bear this insult ! It was I who wrote the letter 
which stopped Zelida in the act of drinking the elixir of 
love ! As for } T ou," she went on, turning to my brothers, 
wt you do not yet know what those two watches will eost 
you! But you can learn it now, and the knowledge of 
the truth will onh T serve to render your lives still more 
miserable." 

4 As she spoke she held out the sacred book written by 
Moi'zes, and pointed to the following lines: 

1 " If at midnight the watches are wound with the key 
of gold and the key of silver, they will resume their proper 
shapes during the first hour of the day. They will always 
remain under the care of a woman, and will come back to 
her wherever they may be. And the woman appointed to 
guard them is the daughter of Moizes." 

' My brothers were full of rage when they saw them- 
selves outwitted, but there was no help for it. The watches 
were delivered up to Sumi and they went their way, 

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STORY OF THE THREE SOS'S OF ITALI 229 

while I remained behind curious to see what would 
happen. 

' As night wore on Sumi wound up both watches, and 
when midnight struck Aurora and her sister made their 
appearance. They knew nothing of what had occurred 
and supposed they had just awakened from sleep, but 
when Sumi's story made them understand their terrible 
fate, they both sobbed with despair and were only consoled 
when Sumi promised never to forsake them. Then one 
o'clock sounded, and they became watches again. 

4 All night long I was a prey to vague fears, and I 
felt as if something unseen was pushing me on — in what 
direction I did not know. At dawn I rose and went out, 
meeting Izif in the street suffering from the same dread as 
myself. We agreed that Constantinople was no place for 
us any longer, and calling to Izouf to accompany us, we 
left the city together, but soon determined to travel 
separately, so that we might not be so easily recognised 
by the spies of Siroco. 

4 A few days later I found myself at the door of an old 
castle near the sea, before which a tall slave was pacing to 
and fro. The gift of one or two worthless jewels loosened 
his tongue, and he informed me that he was in the service 
of the son of the liassa of the Sea, at that time making- 
war in distant countries. The }^outh, he told me, had 
been destined from his bo}iiood to marry the daughter of 
Siroco, whose sisters were to be the brides of his brothers, 
and went on to speak of the talisman that his charge 
possessed. But I could think of nothing but the beautiful 
Zelida, and my passion, which I thought I had conquered, 
awoke in full force. 

' In order to remove this dangerous rival from my path, 
I resolved to kidnap him, and to this end I began to act 
a madman, and to sing and dance loudly, crying to the 
slave to fetch the boy and let him see my tricks. Tie con- 
sented, and both were so diverted with my antics that 
they laughed till the tears ran down their cheeks, and 
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230 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 

even tried to imitate me. Then I declared I felt thirst} 7 
and begged the slave to fetch me some water, and while 
he was absent I advised the youth to take off his turban, 
so as to cool his head. He complied gladly, and in the 
twinkling of an eye was changed into a pot. A cry 
from the slave warned me that I had no time to lose if I 
would save my life, so I snatched up the pot and fled with 
it like the wind. 

' You have heard, my lords, what became of the pot, 
so I will only say now that when I awoke it had dis- 
appeared ; but I was partly consoled for its loss by find- 
ing my two brothers fast asleep not far from me. " How 
did you get here? " 1 inquired, " and what has happened 
to you since we parted ? " 

4 " Alas ! " replied Izouf, "we were passing a wayside 
inn from which came sounds of songs and laughter, and 
fools that we were — we entered and sat down. Circassian 
girls of great beauty were dancing for the amusement of 
several men, who not only received us politely, but placed 
us near the two loveliest maidens. Our happiness was 
complete, and time flew unknown to us, when one of the 
Circassians leaned forward and said to her sister, ' Their 
brother danced, and they must dance too.' What they 
meant by these words I know not, but perhaps you can 
tell us?" 

' "I understand quite well," I replied. "They were 
thinking of the day that I stole the son of the Bassa, and 
had danced before him." 

4 u Perhaps you are right," continued Izonf, " for the 
two ladies took our hands and danced with us till we were 
quite exhausted, and when at last we sat down a second 
time to table we drank more wine than was good for us. 
Indeed, our heads grew so confused, that when the men 
jumped up and threatened to kill us, we could make no re- 
sistance and suffered ourselves to be robbed of everything 
we had about us, including the most precious possession 
of all, the two talismans of the daughters of Siroco." 

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STORY OF THE THREE SOXS OF HAL I 23 J 

' Not knowing what else to do, we all three returned to 
Constantinople to ask the advice of Sumi, and found that 
she was already aware of our misfortunes, having read 
'about them in the book of Moizes. The kind-hearted 
creature wept bitterly at our story, but, being poor herself, 
could give us little help. At last I proposed that every 
morning we should sell the silver watch into which 
Argentine was changed, as it would, return to Sumi every 
evening unless it was wound up with the silver key — ■ 
which was not at all likely. Sumi consented, but only on 
the condition that we would never sell the watch without 
ascertaining the house where it was to be found, so that 
she might also take Aurora thither, and thus Argentine 
would not be alone if by any chance she was wound up 
at the mystic hour. For some weeks now we have lived 
by this means, and the two daughters of Siroeo have never 
failed to return to Sumi each night. Yesterday Izouf 
sold the silver watch to this young man, and in the even, 
ing placed the gold watch on the steps by order of Sumi, 
just before his customer entered the house; from which 
both watches came back early this morning.' 

' If I had only known ! ' cried Neangir. ' If I had 
had more presence of mind, I should have seen the 
lovely Argentine, and if her portrait is so fair, what must 
the original be ! ' 

< It was not your fault,' replied the Cadi, ' you are no 
magician; and who could guess that the watch must be 
wound at such an hour? But I shall give orders that the 
merchant is to hand it over to you, and this evening you 
will certainly not forget.' 

'It is impossible to let you have it to-day,' answered 
Izouf, ' for it is already sold.' 

' If that is so,' said the Cadi, ' you must return the 
three gold pieces which the young man paid.' 

The Jew, delighted to get off so easily, put his hand 
in his pocket, when Neangir stopped him. 

' No, no,' he exclaimed, ' it is not money I want, 

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232 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF HALT 

but the adorable Argentine; without her everything is 
valueless.' 

1 My clear Cadi/ said the Bassa, ' he is right. The 
treasure that my son has lost is absolutely priceless/ 

' My lord,' replied the Cadi, 'your wisdom is greater 
than mine. Give judgment I pray you in the matter.' 

So the Bassa desired them all to accompany him to 
his house, and commanded his slaves not to lose sight of 
the three Jewish brothers. 

AVhen they arrived at the door of his dwelling, he 
noticed two women sitting on a bench close by, thickly 
veiled and beautifully dressed. Their wide satin trousers 
were embroidered in silver, and their muslin robes were of 
the finest texture. In the hand of one was a bag of pink 
silk tied with green ribbons, containing something that 
seemed to move. 

At the approach of the Bassa both ladies rose, and 
came towards him. Then the one who held the bag 
addressed him saying, *• Noble lord, buy, I pray you, 
this bag, without asking to see what it contains.' 

4 How much do you want for it? ' asked the Bassa. 

4 Three hundred sequins,' replied the unknown. 

At these words the Bassa laughed contemptuously, and 
passed on without speaking. 

'Yon will not repent of your bargain,' went on the 
woman. ' Perhaps if we come back to-morrow you 
will be glad to give us the four hundred sequins we 
shall then ask. And the next day the price will be five 
hundred. ' 

1 Come away,' said her companion, taking hold of her 
sleeve. 4 Do not let us stay here any longer. It may 
cry, and then our secret will lie discovered.' And so 
saying, the two young women disappeared. 

The Jews were left in the front hall under the care of 
the slaves, and Neangir and Sumi followed the Bassa 
inside the house, which was magnificently furnished. At 
one end of a large, brilliantly-lighted room a lady of about 

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ST011Y OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 233 

thirty-five years old reclined on a conch, still beautiful iu 
spite of the sad expression of her face. 




K^sorms] 



' Incomparable Zambac,' said the Bassa, going up to 
her, 'give me your thanks, for here is the lost son for 
whom you have shed so many. tears,' but x before his 

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234 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 

mother could clasp trim in her arms Neangir had flung 
himself at her feet. 

4 Let the whole house rejoice with me/ continued the 
Bassa, k and let my two sons Ibrahim and Hassan be told, 
that they may embrace their brother.' 

4 Alas! my lord! ' said Zambac, 4 do you forget that 
this is the hour when Hassan weeps on his hand, and 
Ibrahim gathers up his coral beads? ' 

i Let the command of the prophet be obeyed,' replied 
the Bassa; 4 then we will wait till the evening.' 

4 Forgive me, noble lord,' interrupted Sumi, 4 but what 
is this mystery? With the help of the Book of Spells 
perhaps I may be of some use in the matter.' 

4 Sumi,' answered the Bassa, k I owe you already the 
happiness of my life; come with me then, and the sight 
of my unhappy sons will tell you of our trouble better 
than any words of mine.' 

The Bassa rose from his divan and drew aside the 
hangings leading to a large hall, closely followed by 
Neangir and Sumi. There they saw two young men, one 
about seventeen, and the other nineteen years of age. 
The younger was seated before a table, his forehead rest- 
ing on his right hand, which he was watering with his 
tears. He raised his head for a moment when his father 
entered, and Neangir and Sumi both saw that this hand 
w T as of ebony. 

The other young man w r as occupied busily in col- 
lecting coral beads which were scattered all over the floor 
of the room, and as he picked them up he placed them 
on the same table where his brother was sitting. He 
had already gathered together ninety-eight beads, and 
thought they were all there, when they suddenly rolled 
off the table and he had to begin his work over 
again. 

4 Do you see,' whispered the Bassa, 4 for three hours 
daily one collects these coral beads, and for the same 
space of time the other laments over his hand which has 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 235 

become black, and I am wholly ignorant what is the 
cause of either misfortune.' 

4 Do not let us stay here,' said Sumi, c our presence 
must add to their grief. But permit me to fetch the 
Book of Spells, which I feel sure will tell us not only the 
cause of their malady but also its cure.' 

The Bassa readily agreed to Sumi's proposal, but 
Neangir objected strongly. ' If Sumi leaves us,' he said 
to his father, c I shall not see my beloved Argentine 
when she returns to-night with the fair Aurora. And 
life is an eternity till I behold her.' 

* w Be comforted,' replied Sumi. ; I will be back before 
sunset; and I leave you my adored Izaf as a pledge.' 

Scarcely had the Jewess left Neangir, when the old 
female slave entered the hall where the three Jews still 
remained carefully guarded, followed by a man whose 
splendid dress prevented Neangir from recognising at 
first us the person in whose house he had dined two days 
before. But the woman he knew at once to be the nurse 
of Zelida. 

He started eagerly forward, but before he had time to 
speak the slave turned to the soldier she was conducting. 
' 3Iy lord,' she said, ' those are the men ; I have tracked 
them from the house of the Cadi to this palace. They 
are the same ; I am not mistaken, strike and avenge 
yourself.' 

As he listened the face of the stranger grew scarlet 
with anger. He drew his sword and in another moment 
would have rushed on the Jews, when Neangir and the 
slaves of the Bassa seized hold of him. 

c AVhat are you doing?' cried Neangir. ' How dare 
you attack those whom the Bassa has taken under his 
protection ? ' 

' Ah, my son,' replied the soldier, 4 The Bassa would 
withdraw his protection if he knew that these wretches 
have robbed me of all I have dearest in the world. He 
knows them as little as he knows you.' 

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236 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 

' But lie knows me very well,' replied Neangir,' ' for 
he has recognised me as his son. Come with me now, 
into his presence.' 

The stranger bowed and passed through the curtain 
held back by Neangir, whose surprise was great at see- 
ing his father spring forward and clasp the soldier in his 
arms. 

4 What! is it you, my dear Siroco?' cried he. 'I 
believed you had been slain in that awful battle when 
the followers of the Prophet were put to flight. But why 
do your eyes kindle with the flames they shot forth on 
that fearful day? Calm yourself and tell me what I can 
do to help you. See, I have found my son, let that be a 
good omen for your happiness also.' 

' I did not guess/ answered Siroco, l that the son you 
have so long mourned had come back to you. Some days 
since the Prophet appeared to me in a dream, floating in 
a circle of light, and he said to me, kW Go to-morrow at 
sunset to the Galata Gate, and there you will find a young 
man whom you must bring home with you. He is the 
second son of your old friend the Bassa of the Sea, and 
that you may make no mistake, put your lingers in his 
turban and you will feel the plate on which my name is 
engraved in seven different languages." 

fc I did as T was bid,' went on Siroco, fc and so charmed 
was I with his face and manner that I caused him to fall 
in love with Argentine, whose portrait 1 gave him. But at 
the moment when I was rejoicing in the happiness before 
me, and looking forward to the pleasure of restoring you 
your son, some drops of the elixir of love were spilt on 
the table, and caused a thick vapour to arise, which hid 
everything. When it had cleared away he was gone. 
This morning my old slave informed me that she had dis- 
covered the traitors who had stolen my daughters from 
me, and I hastened hither to avenge them. But I place 
myself in your hands, and will follow your counsel.' 

' Fate will favour us, I am sure,' said the Bassa, k for 

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STOEY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 239 

this very night I expect to secure both the silver and 
the gold watch. So send at once and pray Zelida to 
join us/ 

A rustling of silken stuffs drew their eyes to the door, 
and Ibrahim and Hassan, whose daily penance had by 
this time been performed, entered to embrace their 
brother. Neangir and Hassan, who had also drunk of the 
elixir of love, could think of nothing but the beautiful 
ladies who had captured their hearts, while the spirits of 
Ibrahim had been cheered by the news that the daughter 
of Moizes hoped to find in the Book of Spells some charm 
tj deliver him from collecting the magic beads. 

It was some hours later that Sumi returned, bringing 
with her the sacred book. 

' See/ she said, beckoning to Hassan, c your destiny is 
written here.' And Hassan stooped and read these words 
in Hebrew : 'His right hand has become black as ebony 
from touching the fat of an impure animal, and will re- 
main so till the last of its race is drowned in the sea.' 

' Alas ! ' sighed the unfortunate youth. c Tt now comes 
back to my memory. One day the slave of Zambac was 
making a cake. She warned me not to touch, as the 
cake was mixed with lard, but I did not heed her, and 
in an instant my hand became the ebony that it now 
is.' 

' Holy dervish ! ' exclaimed the Bassa, ' how true were 
your words! My son has neglected the advice you gave 
him on presenting him the bracelet, and he has been 
severely punished. But tell me, O wise Sumi, where I 
can find the last of the accursed race who has brought 
this doom on my son ? ' 

4 It is wTitten here/ replied Sumi, turning over some 
leaves. fc The little black pig is in the pink bag carried 
by the two Circassians.' 

*When he read this the Bassa sank on his cushions in 
despair. 

c Ah/ he said, ' that is the bag that was offered me 



240 STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF II ALL 

this morning for three hundred sequins. Those must be 
the women who caused Izif and Izouf to dance, and took 
from them the two talismans of the daughters of Siroco. 
They only can break the spell that has been cast on us. 
Let them be found and I will gladly give them the half 
of my possessions. Idiot that 1 was to send them 
away ! ' 

While the Bassa was bewailing his folly, Ibrahim in 
his turn had opened the book, and blushed deeply as he 
read the words : i The chaplet of beads has been defiled 
b} T the game of u Odd and Even." Its owner has tried 
to cheat by concealing one of the numbers. Let the faith- 
less Moslem seek fur ever the missing bead.' 

4 O heaven,' cried Ibrahim, t that unhappy day rises 
up before me. I had cut the thread of the chaplet, while 
playing with Aurora. Holding the ninety-nine beads in 
my hand she guessed !i Odd," and in order that she might 
lose I let one bead fall from my hand. Since then I have 
sought it daily, but it never has been found.' 

4 IIol} T dervish ! ' cried the Bassa, •■ how true were 
your words ! From the time that the sacred chaplet was 
no longer complete, my son has borne the penalty. But 
may not the Book of Spells teach us how to deliver 
Ibrahim also?' 

4 Listen,' said Sumi, ' this is what I find : " The coral 
bead lies in the fifth fold of the dress of yellow brocade."' 

' All. what good fortune! ' exclaimed the Bassa, 4 we 
shall shortly see the beautiful Aurora, and Ibrahim shall 
at once search in the fifth fold of her yellow brocade. 
For it is she no doubt of whom the book speaks.' 

As the Jewess closed the Book of Moizes, Zelida 
appeared, accompanied by a whole train of slaves and 
her old nurse. At her entrance Hassan, beside himself 
with joy, flung himself on his knees and kissed her hand. 

* My lord,' he said to the Bassa, ' pardon me these 
transports. No elixir of love was needed to inflame my 
heart! Let the marriage rite make us speedily one.' 

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STORY OF THE THREE SOXS OF HAL I 241 

6 My son, are yon mad? ' asked the Bassa. ' As long 
as the misfortunes of your brothers last, shall you alone 




lie happy. And whoever heard of a bridegroom with a 
blaek hand? Wait yet a little longer, till the blaek pig is 
drowned in the sea.' 



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242 STORY OF THE THREE SOXS OF HALT 

4 Yes ! dear Hassan, 5 said Zelkla, c our happiness will 
be increased tenfold when my sisters have regained then- 
proper shapes. And here is the elixir which I have 
brought with me, so that their joy may equal ours.' And 
she held out the flask to the Bassa, who had it closed in 
his presence. 

Zambac was filled with joy at the siglit of Zelida, and 
embraced her with delight. Then she led the way into 
the garden, and invited all her friends to seat themselves 
under the thick overhanging branches of a splendid 
jessamine tree. No sooner, however, were they comfort- 
ably settled, than they were astonished to hear a man's 
voice, speaking angrily on the other side of the wall. 

' Ungrateful girls ! ' it said, ' is this the way you treat 
me? Let me hide myself for ever! This cave is no 
longer dark enough or deep enough for me/ 

A burst of laughter was the only answer, and the 
voice continued, ; What have I done to earn such con- 
tempt? Was this what you promised me when I 
managed to get for you the talismans of beauty? Is 
this the reward I have a right to expect when I have 
bestowed on you the little black pig, who is certain to 
bring you good luck?' 

At these words the curiosity of the listeners passed all 
bounds, and the Bassa commanded his slaves instantly to 
tear down the wall. It was done, but the man was 
nowhere to be seen, and there were only two girls of 
extraordinary beauty, who seemed quite at their ease, and 
came dancing gaily on to the terrace. With them was an 
old slave in whom the Bassa recognised Gouloucou, the 
former guardian of Neangir. 

Gouloucou shrank with fear when he saw the Bassa, 
as he expected nothing less than death at his hands for 
allowing Neangir to be snatched away. But the Bassa 
made him signs of forgiveness, and asked him how he 
had escaped death when he had thrown himself from the 
cliff. Gouloucou explained that he had been picked up 

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STORY OF THE THREE SONS OF IIALI 243 

by a dervish who had cured his wounds, and had then 
given him as slave to the two young ladies now before 
the company, and in their service he had remained 
ever since. 

1 But,' said the Bassa, ' where is the little black pig of 
which the voiee spoke just now? ' 

' My lord,' answered one of the ladies, ' when at your 
command the wall was thrown down, the man whom you 
heard speaking was so frightened at the noise that he 
caught up the pig and ran away.' 

4 Let him be pursued instantly,' cried the Bassa; but 
the ladies smiled. 

4 Do not be alarmed, my lord,' said one, ' he is sure to 
return. Only give orders that the entrance to the eave 
shall be guarded, so that when he is once in he shall not 
get out again.' 

By this time night was falling and they all went back 
to the palace, where coffee and fruits were served in a 
splendid gallery, near the women's apartments. The 
Bassa then ordered the three Jews to be brought before 
him, so that he might see whether these were the two 
damsels who had forced them to dance at the inn, but to 
his great vexation it was found that when their guards 
had gone to knock down the wall the Jews had escaped. 

At this news the Jewess Sumi turned pale, but 
glancing at the Book of Spells her face brightened, and 
she said half aloud, 'There is no cause for disquiet; they 
will capture the dervish,' while Hassan lamented loudly 
that as soon as fortune appeared on one side she fled on 
the other ! 

On bearing this reflection one of the Bassa's pages 
broke into a laugh. ; This fortune comes to us dancing, 
my lord,' said he, ' and the other leaves us on erutehes. 
Do not be afraid. She will not go very far.' 

The Bassa, shocked at his impertinent interference, 

desired him to leave the room and not to come back till 

he was sent for. _.. ... . , 

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2U ST OUT OF THE Til RE F SOXS OF HAL I 

4 My lord shall be obeyed,' said the page, ' but when I 
return, it shall be in such good company that you will 
welcome me gladly.* So saying, he went out. 

When they were alone, Neangir turned to the fair 
strangers and implored their help. ' My brothers and 
myself/ he cried, c are filled with love for three peerless 
maidens, two of whom are under a cruel spell. If their 
fate happened to be in your hands, w r ould you not do all 
in your power to restore them to happiness and liberty?' 

l>ut the young man's appeal only stirred the two ladies 
to anger. ' What/ exclaimed one, l are the sorrows of 
lovers to us? Fate has deprived us of our lovers, and if 
it depends on us the whole world shall suffer as much as 
we do! ' 

This unexpected reply was heard with amazement by 
all present, and the Bassa entreated the speaker to tell 
them her story. Having obtained permission of her 
sister, she began : 



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245 



THE STORY OF THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

'We were born in Circassia of poor people, and my 
sister's name is Tezila and mine Dely. Having nothing 
but our beauty to help us in life, we were carefully trained 
in all the accomplishments that give pleasure. We were 
both quick to learn, and from our childhood could play all 
sorts of instruments, could sing, and above all could 
dance. We were, besides, lively and merry, as in spite of 
our misfortunes we are to this day. 

4 We were easily pleased and quite content with our 
lives at home, when one morning the officials who had been 
sent to find wives for the Sultan saw us, and were struck 
with our beauty. We had always expected something of 
the sort, and were resigned to our lot, when we chanced 
to see two young men enter our house. The elder, who 
was about twenty years of age, had black hair and very 
bright eyes. The other could not have been more than 
fifteen, and was so fair that he might easily have passed 
for a girl. 

4 They knocked at the door with a timid air and begged 
our parents to give them shelter, as they had lost their 
way. After some hesitation their request was granted, 
and they were invited into the room in which we were. 
And if our parents' hearts were touched by their beauty, 
our own were not any harder, so that our departure for 
the palace, which had been arranged for the next day, 
suddenly became intolerable to us. 

4 Night came, and I awoke from my sleep to find the 

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24 6 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

younger of the two strangers sitting at my bedside and 
felt him take my hand. 

' " Fear nothing, lovely Dely," he whispered, " from 
one who never knew love till he saw you. My name," 
he went on, "is Prince Delicate, and I am the sou of 
the King of the Isle of Black Marble. My friend, 
who travels with me, is one of the richest nobles of my 
country, and the secrets which he kriows are the envy 
of the Sultan himself. And we left our native country 
because my father wished me to marry a lady of great 
beauty, but with one eye a trifle smaller than the other." 

' My vanity was flattered at so speedy a conquest, and 
I was charmed with the way the young man had declared 
his passion. I turned my eyes slowty on him, and the 
look I gave him caused him almost to lose his senses. 
He fell fainting forward, and I was unable to move till 
Tezila, who had hastily put on a dress, ran to my assist- 
ance together with Thelamis, the young noble of whom 
tho Prince had spoken. 

4 As soon as we were all ourselves again we began to 
bewail our fate, and the journey that we were to take that 
very day to Constantinople. But we felt a little comforted 
when Thelamis assured us that he and the prince would 
follow in our steps, and would somehow contrive to speak 
to us. Then they kissed our hands, and left the house by 
a side- way. 

' A few moments later our parents came to tell us that 
the escort had arrived, and having taken farewell of them 
we mounted the camels, and took our seats in a kind of 
box that was fixed to the side of the animal. These boxes 
were large enough for us to sleep in comfortably, and as 
there was a window in the upper part, we Avere able to 
see the country through which we passed. 

' For several days we journeyed on, feeling sad and 
anxious as to what might become of us, when one day as 
I was looking out of the window of our room, I heard my 
name called, and beheld a beautifully dressed girl jumping 

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THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 247 

Out of the box on the other side of our camel. One glance 
told me that it was the prince, and my heart bounded 
with joy. It was, he said, Thelamis's idea to disguise him 
like this, and that he himself had assumed the character 
of a slave-dealer who was taking this peerless maiden as 
a present to the Sultan. Thelamis had also persuaded the 
officer in charge of the caravan to let him hire the vacant 
box, so it was easy for the prince to scramble out of his 
own window and approach ours. 

* This ingenious trick enchanted us, but our agreeable 
conversation was soon interrupted by the attendants, who 
perceived that the camel was walking in a crooked manner 
and came to find out what was wrong. Luckily they 
were slow in their movements, and the prince had just 
time to get back to his own box and restore the balance, 
before the trick was discovered. 

'But neither the prince nor his friend had any inten- 
tion of allowing us to enter the Sultan's palace, though it 
was difficult to know how we were to escape, and what 
was to become of us when once we had escaped. At 
length, one day as we were drawing near Constantinople, 
we learned from the prince that Thelamis had made 
acquaintance with a holy dervish whom he had met on 
the road, and had informed him that we were his sisters, 
who were being sold as slaves against his will. The good 
man was interested in the story, and readily agreed to 
find us shelter if we could manage to elude the watch- 
fulness of our guards. The risk was great, but it was 
our only chance. 

'That night, when the whole caravan was fast asleep, 
we raised the upper part of our boxes and by the help 
of Thelamis climbed silently out. AVe next went back 
some distance along the way we had come, then, striking 
into another road, reached at last the retreat prepared for 
us by the dervish. Here we found food and rest, and I 
need not say what happiness it was to be free once 
more. 

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248 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

'The dervish soon became a slave to onr beauty, and 
the day after our escape he proposed that we should 
allow him to conduct us to an inn situated at a short 
distance, where we should find two Jews, owners of 
precious talismans which did not really belong to them. 
"Try," said the dervish, " by some means to get possession 
of them." 

4 The inn, though not on the direct road to Constanti- 
nople, was a favourite one with merchants, owing to the 
excellence of the food, and on our arrival we discovered 
at least six or eight other people who had stopped for 
refreshment. They greeted us politely, and we sat down 
to table together. 

4 In a short time the two men described by the dervish 
entered the room, and at a sign from him my sister made 
room at her side for one, while I did the same for the other. 

6 Now the dervish had happened to mention that 
44 their brother had danced." At the moment we paid no 
attention to this remark, but it came back to our minds 
now, and we determined that they should dance also. 
To accomplish this we used all our arts and very soon 
bent them to our wills, so that they could refuse us 
nothing. At the end of the day we remained possessors 
of the talismans and had left them to their fate, while the 
Prince and Thelamis fell more in love with us than ever, 
and declared that we were more lovely than any women 
in the world. 

4 The sun had set before we quitted the inn, and we 
had made no plans as to where we should go next, 
so we readily consented to the prince's proposal that we 
should embark without delay for the Isle of Black Marble. 
What a place it was! Rocks blacker than jet towered 
above its shores and shed thick darkness over the 
country. Our sailors had not been there before and were 
nearly as frightened as ourselves, but thanks to Thelamis, 
who undertook to be our pilot, we landed safely on the 
beach. 

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THE FAIR CIRCASSIAN'S 249 

' When we had left the coast behind us, with its walls 
of jet, we entered alovety country where the fields were 
greener, the streams clearer, and the sun brighter than 
anywhere else. The people crowded round to welcome 
their prince, whom they loved dearly, but they told him 
that the king was still full of rage at his son's refusal to 
marry his cousin the Princess Okimpare, and also at his 
flight. Indeed, they all begged him not to visit the 
capital, as his life would hardly be safe. So, much as I 
should have enjoyed seeing the home of my beloved prince, 
I implored him to listen to this wise advice and to let us 
all go to Thelamis's palace in the middle of a vast forest. 

'To my sister and myself, who had been brought up in 
a cottage, this house of Thelamis's seemed like fairyland. 
It was built of pink marble, so highly polished that the 
flowers and streams surrounding it were reflected as in a 
mirror. One set of rooms was furnished especially for me 
in yellow silk and silver, to suit my black hair. Fresh 
dresses were provided for us every day, and we had slaves 
to wait on us. Ah, why could not this happiness have 
lasted for ever ! 

1 The peace of our lives was troubled by Thelamis's 
jealousy of my sister, as he could not endure to see her 
on friendly terms with the prince, though knowing full 
well that his heart was mine. Every day we had scenes 
of tender reproaches and of explanations, but Tezila's 
tears never failed to bring Thelamis to his knees, with 
prayers for forgiveness. 

4 We had been living in this way for some months when 
one day the news came that the king had fallen dangerously 
ill. I begged the prince to hurry at once to the court, 
both to see his father and also to show himself to the 
senators and nobles, but as his love for me was greater 
than his desire of a crown, he hesitated as if foreseeing all 
that afterwards happened. At last Tezila spoke to him 
so seriously in Thelamis's presence, that he determined to 
go, but promised that he would return before night. 

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250 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

4 Night came but no prince, and Tezila, who had been 
the cause of his departure, showed such signs of uneasiness 
that Thelamis's jealousy was at once awakened. As for 
me, I cannot tell what I suffered. Not being able to sleep 
I rose from my bed and wandered into the forest, along 
the road which he had taken so many hours before. 
Suddenly I heard in the distance the s,ound of a horse's 
hoofs, and in a few moments the prince had flung himself 
down and was by my side. 4t Ah, how I adore you ! " he 
exclaimed, " Thelamis's love will never equal mine." The 
words were hardly out of his mouth when I heard a slight 
noise behind, and before we could turn round both our 
heads were rolling in front of us, while the voice of 
Thelamis cried : 

4 " Perjured wretches, answer me ; and you, faithless 
Tezila, tell me why you have betrayed me like this?" 

4 Then I understood what had happened, and that in 
his rage, he had mistaken me for my sister. 

; " Alas," replied my head in weak tones, " I am not 
Tezila, but Dely, whose life you have destroyed, as well 
as that of your friend." At this Thelamis paused and 
seemed to reflect for an instant. 

"'Be not frightened," he said more quietly, "I can 
make you whole again," and laying a magic powder on our 
tongues he placed our heads on our necks. In the 
twinkling of an eye our heads were joined to our bodies 
without leaving so much as a scar ; only that, blinded 
with rage as he still was, Thelamis had placed my head 
on the prince's body, and his on mine ! 

' I cannot describe to you how odd we both felt at this 
strange transformation. We both instinctively put up our 
hands — he to feel his hair, which was, of course, dressed 
like a woman, and 1 to raise the turban which pressed 
heavily on my forehead. But we did not know what had 
happened to us, for the night was still dark. 

' At this point Tezila appeared, followed by a troop of 
slaves bearing flowers. It was onlv by the light of their 

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vTllK WRONG HEADS ^1 
ON THE WKONG BODIES 



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THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 253 

torches that we understood what had occurred. Indeed 
the first thought of both of us was that we must have 
changed clothes. 

' Now in spite of what we may say, we all prefer our 
own bodies to those of anybody else, so notwithstanding 
our love for each other, at first we could not help feeling 
a little cross with Th el amis. However, so deep was the 
prince's passion for me, that very soon he begun to con- 
gratulate himself on the change. " My happiness is 
perfect," he said, " my heart, beautiful Dely, has always 
been yours, and now I have your head also." 

i But though the prince made the best of it, Thelamis 
was much ashamed of his stupidity. 4i I have," he said 
hesitatingly, tk two other pastilles which have the same 
magic properties as those I used before. Let me cut off 
your heads again, and that will put matters straight." 
The proposal sounded tempting, but was a little risky, 
and after consulting together we decided to let things 
remain as they were. u Do not blame me then," continued 
Thelamis, ki if you will not accept my offer. But take 
the two pastilles, and if it ever happens that you are 
decapitated a second time, make use of them in the way 
I have shown you, and each will get back his own head." 
So saying he presented us with the pastilles, and we all 
returned to the eastle. 

w However, the troubles caused by the unfortunate 
exchange were only just beginning. My head, without 
thinking what it was doing, led the prince's body to my 
apartments. But my women, only looking at the dress, 
declared 1 had mistaken the corridor, and called some 
slaves to conduct me to his Highness's rooms. This 
was bad enough, but when — as it was still night — my 
servants began to undress me, I nearly fainted from 
surprise and confusion, and no doubt the Prince's head 
was suffering in the same manner at the other and of the 
castle ! 

' By the uest i m'g\fi^%y^Am as that we 



254 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

slept but little — we had grown partly accustomed to our 
strange situation, and when we looked in the mirror, the 
prince had become brown-skinned and black-haired, while 
my head was covered with his curly golden locks. And 
after that first day, every one in the palace had become 
so accustomed to the change that they thought no more 
about it. 

4 Some weeks after this, we heard that the king of the 
Isle of Black Marble was dead. The prince's head, which 
once was mine, was full of ambitious desires, and he 
longed to ride straight to the capital and proclaim himself 
king. But then came the question as to whether the 
nobles would recognise the prince with a girl's body, and 
indeed, when we came to think of it, which was prince 
and which was girl? 

4 At last, after much argument, my head carried the 
day and we set out ; but only to find that the king had 
declared the Princess Okimpare his successor. The 
greater part of the senators and nobles openly professed 
that they would much have preferred the rightful heir, 
but as they could not recognise him either in the Prince 
or me, they chose to consider us as impostors and threw 
ns into prison. 

4 A few days later Tezila and Thelamis, who had 
followed us to the capital, came to tell us that the new 
queen had accused us of high treason, and had herself 
been present at our trial — which was conducted without 
ns. They had been in mortal terror as to what would be 
our sentence, but by a piece of extraordinary luck Ave had 
been condemned to be beheaded. 

4 I told my sister that T did not see exactly where the 
luck came in, but Thelamis interrupted me rudel} 7 : 

4 u What! " he cried, 44 of course I shall make use of the 

pastilles, and "but here the officers arrived to lead 

us to the great square where the execution was to take 
place — for Okimpare was determined there should be no 
delay. 

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TUB FAIR CIRCASSIANS 255 

' The square was crowded with people of all ages and 
all ranks, and in the middle a platform had been erected 
on which was the scaffold, with the executioner, in a 
black mask, standing by. At a sign from him I mounted 
first, and m a moment my head was rolling at his feet. 
With a bound my sister and Th el amis were beside me, and 
like lightning Thelamis seized the sabre from the heads- 
man, and cut off the head of the prince. And before the 
multitude had recovered from their astonishment at these 
strange proceedings, our bodies were joined to our right 
heads, and the pastilles placed on our tongues. Then 
Thelamis led the prince to the edge of the platform and 
presented him to the people, saying " Behold your lawful 
king." 

c Shouts of joy rent the air at the sound of Thelamis's 
words, and the noise reached Okimpare in the palace. 
Smitten with despair at the news, she fell down uncon- 
scious on her balcony, and was lifted up by the slaves and 
taken back to her own house. 

' Meanwhile our happiness was all turned to sorrow. 
I had rushed up to the prince to embrace him fondly, 
when he suddenly grew pale and staggered. 

4 kt J die faithful to you," he murmured, turning his eyes 
towards me, "and I die a king ! " and leaning his head on 
my shoulder he expired quietly, for one of the arteries in 
his neck had been cut through. 

i Not knowing what I did I staggered towards the 
sabre which was lying near me, with the intention of 
following my beloved prince as speedily as possible. 
And when Thelamis seized my hand (but only just in 
time), in my madness I turned the sabre upon him, and 
he fell struck through the heart at my feet/ 

The whole company were listening to the story with 
breathless attention, when it became plain that Dely 
could go no further, while Tezila had Hung herself on a 
heap of cushions and hidden her face. Zambac ordered 



256 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

her women to give them all the attention possible, and 
desired they should be carried into her own rooms. 

When the two sisters were in this condition, Ibrahim, 
who was a very prudent young man, suggested to Ins 
parents that a* the two Circassians were both unconscious, 
it would be an excellent opportunity to search them and 
see if the talismans belonging to the daughters of Siroco 
were concealed about their persons. But the Bassa, 
shocked at the notion of treating his guests in so in- 
hospitable a manner, refused to do anything of the kind, 
adding that the next day he hoped to persuade them to 
give the talismans up of their own free will. 

By this time it was nearly midnight and Neangir, who 
was standing near the Jewess Sumi, drew out the portrait 
of Argentine, and heard with delight that she was even 
more beautiful than her picture. Every one was waiting 
on tiptoe for the appearance of the two watches, who 
were expected when the clock struck twelve to come in 
search of Sumi, and that there might be no delay the 
Bassa ordered all the doors to be flung wide open. It was 
done, and there entered not the longed-for watches, but 
the page who had been sent away in disgrace. 

Then the Bassa arose in wrath. k Azemi,' he said, 
'did I not order you to stand no more in my presence?' 

4 My lord,' replied Azemi, modestly, 4 I was hidden 
outside the door, listening to the tale of the tw T o Circas- 
sians. And as I know you are fond of stories, give me 
also leave to tell you one. I promise you it shall not be 
long.' 

4 Speak on/ replied the Bassa, ' but take heed what 
you say.' 

4 My lord/ began Azemi, 4 this morning I was walking 
in the towm when I noticed a man going in the same 
direction followed by a slave, lie entered a baker's shop, 
where he bought some bread which he gave to the slave 
to carry. I watched him and saw that he purchased 
many other kinds of provisions at other places, and when 

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THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 257 

the slave could carry no more his master commanded 
him to return home and have supper ready at midnight. 

4 When left alone the man went up the street, and 
turning into a jeweller's shop, brought out a watch that 
as far as I could see was made of silver. He walked on 
a few steps, then stooped and picked up a gold watch 
which lay at his feet. At this point I ran up and told 
him that if he did not give me half its price I would 
report him to the Cadi; he agreed, and conducting me 
to his house produced four hundred sequins, which he 
said was my share, and having got what I wanted I 
went away. 

' As it was the hour for attending on my lord I returned 
home and accompanied } t ou to the Cadi, where I heard the 
story of the three Jews and learned the importance of the 
two watches I had left at the stranger's. I hastened to 
his house, but he had gone out, and X could only find the 
slave, whom I told that I was the bearer of important 
news for his master. Believing me to be one of his 
friends, he begged me to wait, and showed me into a 
room where I saw the two watches lying on the table. I 
put them in my pocket, leaving the four hundred sequins 
in place of the gold watch and three gold pieces which I 
knew to be the price of the other. As you know the 
watches never remain with the person who buys them, 
this man may think himself very lucky to get back his 
money. I have wound them both up, and at this instant 
Aurora and Argentine are locked safely into my own 
room.' 

Everybody was so delighted to hear this news tlmt 
Azemi was nearly stifled with their embraces, and 
Neangir could hardly be prevented from running to 
break in the door, though lie did not even know where 
the page slept. 

But the page begged to have the honour of fetching 
the ladies himself, and soon returned leading them by 
the baud. 

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258 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

For some minutes all was a happy eonfusion, and 
Ibrahim took advantage of it to fall on his knees before 
Aurora, and search in the fifth fold of her dress for the 
missing coral bead. The Book of Spells had told the 
truth; there it was, and as the chaplet was now complete 
the young man's days of seeking were over. 

In the midst of the general rejoicing Hassan alone 
bore a gloomy face. 

'Alas!' he said, < everyone is happy but the miser- 
able being you see before yon. I have lost the only 
consolation in my grief, which was to feel that I had a 
brother in misfortune !' 

' Be comforted,' replied the Bassa ; ' sooner or later the 
dervish who stole the pink bag is sure to be found.' 

Supper was then served, and after they had all eaten 
of rare fruits which seemed to them the most delicious in 
the whole world, the Bassa ordered the flask containing 
the elixir of love to be brought and the } T ou ng people to 
drink of it. Then their eyes shone with a new fire, and 
they swore to be true to each other till death. 

This ceremony was scarcely over when the clock 
struck one, and in an instant Aurora and Argentine had 
vanished, and in the place where they stood lay two 
watches. Silence fell upon all the company — they had 
forgotten the enchantment; then the voice of Azemi was 
heard asking if he might be allowed to take charge of the 
watches till the next day, pledging his head to end their 
enchantment With the consent of Sumi, this was 
granted, and the Bassa gave Azemi a purse containing a 
thousand sequins, as a reward for the services he had 
already rendered to them. After this everybody went to 
his own apartment. 

Azemi had never possessed so much money before, 
and never closed his eyes for joy the whole night long. 
Very early he got up and went into the garden, thinking 
how he could break the enchantment of the daughters of 
Siroco. Suddenly the soft tones of a woman fell on his 

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fcVjc DeWish Arot Dplpcx ti\eVkr«sr 
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THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 2G1 

ear, and peeping through the bushes he saw Tezila, who 
was arranging llowers in her sister's hair. The rustling 
of the leaves caused Dely to start; she jumped up as if to 
fly, but Azemi implored her to remain and begged her to 
tell him what happened to them after the death of their 
lovers, and how they had come to find the dervish. 

4 The punishment decreed to us by the Queen Okim- 
pare,' answered Dely, ' was that we were to dance and sing 
in the midst of our sorrow, at a great fete which was to be 
held that very day for all her people. This cruel command 
nearly turned our brains, and we swore a solemn oath to 
make all lovers as wretched as we were ourselves. In this 
design we succeeded so well that in a short time the ladies 
of the capital came in a body to Okimpare, and prayed 
her to banish us from the kingdom, before their lives 
were made miserable for ever. She consented, and com- 
manded us to be placed on board a ship, with our slave 
Gouloucou. 

4 On the shore we saw an old man who was busily 
engaged in drowning some little black pigs, talking to 
them all the while, as if they could understand him. 

4 4t Accursed race," said he, u it is you who have caused 
all the misfortunes of him to whom I gave the magic 
bracelet. Perish all of you! " 

4 We drew near from curiosity, and recognised in him 
the dervish who had sheltered us on our first escape from 
the caravan. 

4 When the old man discovered who we were he was 
beside himself with pleasure, and offered us a refuge in 
the cave where he lived. We gladly accepted his offer, 
and to the cave we all went, taking with us the last little 
pig, which he gave us as a present. 

4 " The Bassa of the Sea," he added, " will pay yon 
anything you like to ask for it." 

4 Without asking why it was so precious I took the pig 
and placed it in my work bag, where it has been ever 
since. Only yesterday we offered it to the Bassa, who 
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2G2 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

laughed at us, and this so enraged us against the dervish 
that we cut off his beard when he was asleep, and now he 
dare not show himself.' 

' Ah,' exclaimed the page, 'it is not fitting that such 
beauty should waste itself in making other people 
miserable. Forget the unhappy past and think only of 
the future. And accept, I pray you, tjiis watch, to mark 
the brighter hours in store.' So saying he laid the watch 
upon her knee. Then he turned to Tezila. 'And } t ou, 
fair maiden, permit me to offer you this other watch. 
True it is only of silver, but it is all I have left to give. 
And I feel quite sure that you must have somewhere a 
silver seal, that will be exactly the thing to go with it.' 

4 Why, so you have,' cried Dely; 'fasten your silver 
seal to your watch, and I will hang my gold one on to 
mine.' 

The seals were produced, and, as Azemi had guessed, 
they were the talismans which the two Circassians had 
taken from Izif and Jzouf, mounted in gold and silver. 
As quick as lightning the watches slid from the hands of 
Tezila and her sister, and Aurora and Argentine stood 
before them, each with her talisman on her finger. 

At first they seemed rather confused themselves at the 
change which had taken place, and the sunlight which 
they had not seen for so long, but when gradually they 
understood that their enchantment had come to an end, 
they could find no words to express their happiness. 

The Circassians could with difficulty be comforted 
for the loss of the talismans, but Aurora and Argentine 
entreated them to dry their tears, as their father, Siroco, 
who was governor of Alexandria, would not fail to reward 
them in any manner they wished. This promise was soon 
confirmed by Siroco himself, who came into the garden 
with the Bassa and his two sons, and was speedily joined 
by the ladies of the family. Only Hassan was absent. 
It was the hour in which he was condemned to bewail 
his ebony hand. 

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THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 263 

To the surprise of all a noise was at this moment 
heard in a corner of the terrace, and Hassan himself 
appeared surrounded by slaves, clapping his hands and 
shouting with joy. ' I was weeping as usual,' cried he, 
' when all at once the tears refused to come to my eyes, 
and on looking down at my hand I saw that its blackness 
had vanished. And now, lovely Zelida, nothing prevents 
me any longer from offering you the hand, when the heart 
has been yours always.' 

But though Hassan never thought of asking or caring 
what had caused his cure, the others were by no means 
so indifferent. It was quite clear that the little black pig 
must be dead — but how, and when? To this the slaves 
answered that they had seen that morning a man pursued 
by three others, and that he had taken refuge in the 
cavern which they had been left to guard. Then, in 
obedience to orders, they had rolled a stone over the 
entrance. 

Piercing shrieks interrupted their story, and a man, 
whom the Circassians saw to be the old dervish, rushed 
round the corner of the terrace with the three .Tews 
behind him. When the fugitive beheld so many people 
collected together, he turned down another path, but the 
slaves captured all four and brought them before their 
master. 

What was the surprise of the Bassa when he beheld 
in the old dervish the man who had given the chaplet, 
the copper plate, and the bracelet to his three sons. 
' Fear nothing, holy father,' he said, ' you are safe with 
me. But tell ns, how came you here?' 

'My lord,' explained the dervish, 'when my beard 
was cut off during my sleep by the two Circassians, I 
was ashamed to appear before the eyes of men, and fled, 
bearing with me the pink silk bag. In the night these 
three men fell in with me, and we passed some time in 
conversation, but at dawn, when it was light enough to 
sec each other's faces, one of them exclaimed that I was 

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261 THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 

the dervish travelling with the two Circassians who had 
stolen the talismans from the Jews. I jumped up and 
tried to fly to my cave, but they were too quick for me, 
and just as we reached your garden they snatched the 
bag which contained the little black pig and flung it into 
the sea. By this act, which delivers your son, 1 would 
pray you to forgive them for any wrongs they may have 
done you — nay more, that you will recompense them 
for it/ 

The Bassa granted the holy man's request, and seeing 
that the two Jews had fallen victims to the charms of the 
Circassian ladies, gave his consent to their union, which 
was fixed to take place at the same time as that of Jzaf 
with the wise Sumi. The Cadi was sent for, and the Jews 
exchanged the hats of their race for the turbans cf the 
followers of the Prophet. Then, after so many mis- 
fortunes, the Bassa's three sons entreated their father to 
delay their happiness no longer, and the six marriages 
were performed by the Cadi at the hour of noon. 

[Cabinet des Fees,] 



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2 Go 



THE JACKAL AND THE SPUING 



Once upon a time all the streams and rivers ran so dry 
that the animals did not know how to get water. After a 
very long search, which had been quite in vain, they 
found a tiny spring, which only wanted to be dug deeper 
so as to yield plenty of water. So the beasts said to each 
other, l Let us dig a well, and then we shall not fear to 
die of thirst; ' and they all consented except the jackal, 
who hated work of any kind, and generally got somebody 
to do it for him. 

When they had finished their well, they held a council 
as to who should be made the guardian of the well, so 
that the jackal might not come near it, for, they said, ' he 
would not work, therefore he shall not drink/ 

After some talk it was decided that the rabbit should 
be left in charge ; then all the other beasts went back to 
their homes. 

When they were out of sight the jackal arrived. 
4 Good morning ! Good morning, rabbit!' and the rabbit 
politely said, 'Good morning!' Then the jackal un- 
fastened the little bag that hung at his side, and pulled 
out of it a piece of honeycomb which he began to eat, and 
turning to the rabbit he remarked : 

' As you see, rabbit, I am not thirsty in the least, and 
this is nicer than any water.' 

' Give me a bit,' asked the rabbit. So the jackal 
handed him a very little morsel. 

4 Oh, how good it is ! ' cried the rabbit ; i give me a 
little more, dear friend ! ' 

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26G THE JACKAL AND THE SPRING 

Rut the jackal answered, 4 If you really want me to 
give you some more, you must have your paws tied behind 
you, and lie on your back, so that I can pour it into your 
mouth.' 

The rabbit did as he was bid, and when he was tied 
tight and popped on his back, the jackal ran to the spring 
and drank as much as he wanted. When he had quite 
finished he returned to his den. 

In the evening the animals all came back, and when 
they saw the rabbit lying with his paws tied, they said to 
him : 4 Rabbit, how did you let yourself be taken in like 
this?' 

4 It Avas all the fault of the jackal,' replied the rabbit; 
4 he tied me up like this, and told me he would give me 
something nice to eat. It was all a trick just to get at 
our water.' 

4 Rabbit, you are no better than an idiot to have let 
the jackal drink our water when he would not help to find 
it. "Who shall be our next watchman? "We must have 
somebody a little sharper than } T ou ! ' and the little hare 
called out, 4 I will be the watchman.' 

The following morning the animals all went their 
various ways, leaving the little hare to guard the spring. 
When they were out of sight the jackal came back. ' Good 
morning! good morning, little hare,' and the little hare 
politely said, 4 Good morning.' 

4 Can you give me a pinch of snuff ? ' said the 
jackal. 

4 1 am so sorry, but I have none,' answered the little 
hare. 

The jackal then came and sat down by the little hare, 
and unfastened his little bag, pulling out of it a piece of 
honeycomb. He licked his lips and exclaimed, 4 Oh, little 
hare, if you only knew how good it is! ' 

4 What is it? ' asked the little hare. 

4 It is something that moistens my throat so deliriously,' 
answered the jackal, 4 that after I have eaten it I don't 

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THE JACKAL AND THE SPUING 267 

feci thirsty any more, while I am sure that all you other 
beasts are for ever wanting water.' 

4 Give me a bit, dear friend/ asked the little hare. 

'Not so fast,' replied the jackal. ' If you really wish 
to enjoy what } T ou are eating, } T ou must have your paws 
tied behind you, and lie on your back, so that I can pour 
it into your mouth.' 

' You can tie them, only be quick,' said the little hare, 
and when he was tied tight and popped on his back, the 
jackal went quietly down to the well, and drank as much 
as he wanted. When he had quite finished he returned 
to his den. 

In the evening the animals all came back; and when 
they saw the little hare with his paws tied, they said to 
him : ' Little hare, how did } 7 ou let j-ourself be taken in 
like this? Didn't you boast you were very sharp? You 
undertook to guard our water; now show us how much is 
left for us to drink ! ' 

' It is all the fault of the jackal,' replied the little hare. 
c He told me he would give me something nice to eat if I 
would just let him tie my bauds behind my back.' 

Then the animals said, ' Who can Ave trust to mount 
guard now?' And the panther answered, 'Let it be the 
tortoise.' 

The following morning the animals all went their 
various ways, leaving the tortoise to guard the spring. 
When they were out of sight the jackal came back. 
k Good morning, tortoise ; good morning.' 

But the tortoise took no notice. 

' Good morning, tortoise ; good morning.' But still 
the tortoise pretended not to hear. 

Then the jackal said to himself, ' Well, to-day I have 
only got to manage a bigger idiot than before. I shall just 
kick him on one side, and then go and have a drink.' So 
he went up to the tortoise and said to him in a soft voice, 
' Tortoise ! tortoise !' but the tortoise took no notice. Then 
the jackal kicked him out of the way, and went to the 

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268 THE JACKAL AND THE SPRING 

well and began to drink, but scarcely had lie touched the 
water, than the tortoise seized him by the leg. The jackal 
shrieked out: 4 Oh, you will break my leg!' but the 
tortoise only held on the tighter. The jackal then took 
his bag and tried to make the tortoise smell the honey- 
comb he had inside ; but the tortoise turned away his head 
and smelt nothing. At last the jackal said to the tortoise, 
4 1 should like to give you my bag and everything in it/ 
but the only answer the tortoise made was to grasp the 
jackal's leg tighter still. 

So matters stood when the other animals came back. 
The moment he saw them, the jackal gave a violent tug, 
and managed to free his leg, and then took to his heels 
as fast as he could. And the animals all said to the 
tortoise : 

k Well done, tortoise, you have proved your counige; 
now we can drink from our well in peace, as you have 
got the better of that thieving jackal ! ' 

IContes Pojmlaires des Bassoutos; recueilli et traduits par E. Jacottet. 
Paris: Leroux, editeur.] 



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269 



THE BEAU 



Once on a time there was a king who had an only 
daughter. He was so proud and so fond of her, that he 
was in constant terror that something would happen to 
her if she went outside the palace, and thus, owing to 
his great love for her, he forced her to lead the life of a 
prisoner, shut up within her own rooms. 

The princess did not like this at all, and one day she 
complained about it very bitterly to her nurse. Now, the 
nurse was a witch, though the king did not know it. For 
some time she listened and tried to soothe the princess; 
but when she saw that she would not be comforted, she 
said to her: 'Your father loves you very dearly, as you 
know. AVhatever you were to ask from him he would give 
you. The one thing he will not grant you is permission 
to leave the palace. Now, do as I tell you. Go to your 
father and ask him to give you a wooden wheel-barrow, 
and a bear's skin. When you have got them bring them 
to me, and I will touch them with my magie wand. The 
wheel-barrow will then move of itself, and will take you 
at full speed wherever you want to go, and the bear's 
skin will make such a covering for you, that no one will 
recognise you.' 

So the princess did as the witch advised her. The 
king, when he heard her strange request, was greatly 
astonished, and asked her what she meant to do with a 
wheel-barrow and a bear's skin. And the princess 
answered, ; You never let me leave the house — at least 
you might grant me this request' So the king granted it, 

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270 THE BEAU 

and the princess went back to her nurse, taking the 
barrow and the bear's skin with her. 

As soon as the witch saw them, she touched them with 
her magic wand, and in a moment the barrow began to move 
about in all directions. The princess next put on the bear's 
skin, which so completely changed her appearance, that 
no one could have known that she was a girl and not a 
bear. In this strange attire she seated herself on the 
barrow, and in a few minutes she found herself far away 
from the palace, and moving rapidly through a great for- 
est. Here she stopped the barrow with a sign that the 
witch had shown her, and hid herself and it in a thick grove 
of flowering shrubs. 

Now it happened that the prince of that country was 
hunting with his dogs in the forest. Suddenly he caught 
sight of the bear hiding among the shrubs, and calling 
his dogs, hounded them on to attack it. But the girl, 
seeing what peril she was in, cried, c Call off your dogs, 
or they will kill me. AVhat harm have I ever done to 
yon?' At these words, coming from a bear, the prince 
was so startled that for a moment he stood stock-still, 
then he said quite gently, ' Will you come with me? I 
will take you to my home.' 

'I will come gladly,' replied the bear; and seating 
herself on the barrow it at once began to move in the 
direction of the prince's palace. You may imagine the 
surprise of the prince's mother when she saw her son 
return accompanied by a bear, who at once set about 
doing the house-work better than aii3 T servant that the 
queen had ever seen. 

Now it happened that there were great festivities going 
on in the palace of a neighbouring prince, and at dinner, 
one day, the prince said to his mother: 'This evening 
there is to be a great ball, to which I must go.' 

And his mother answered, ' Go and dance, and enjoy 
yourself.' 

Suddenly a voice came from under the table, where 

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THE BEAU 



271 



the bear had rolled itself, as was its wont : fc Let ine 
come to the ball ; I, too, would like to dance.' 

But the only answer the prince made was to give the 
bear a kick, and to drive it out of the room. 

In the evening the prince set off for the ball. As 
soon as he had started, the bear came to the queen and 
implored to be allowed to go to the ball, saying that she 
would hide herself so well that no one would know she 
was there. The kind-hearted queen could not refuse her. 




Then the bear ran to her barrow, threw off her bear's 
skin, and touched it with the magic wand that the witch 
had given her. In a moment the skin was changed into 
an exquisite ball dress woven out of moon-beams, and the 
wheel-barrow was changed into a carriage drawn by two 
prancing steeds. Stepping into the carriage the princess 
drove to the grand entrance of the palace. When she 
entered the ball-room, in her wondrous dress of moon- 
beams, she looked so lovely, so different from all the other 

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272 THE BEAR 

guests, that everyone wondered who she was, and no one 
could tell where she had come from. 

From the moment he saw her, the prince fell desperately 
in love with her, and all the evening he would dance with 
no one else but the beautiful stranger. 

When the ball was over, the princess drove away in 
her carriage at full speed, for she wished to get home in 
time to change her ball dress into the bear's skin, and the 
carriage into the wheel-barrow, before anyone discovered 
who she was. 

The prince, putting spurs into his horse, rode after her, 
for he was determined not to let her out of his sight. 15ut 
suddenly a thick mist arose and hid her from him. When 
he reached his home lie could talk to his mother of 
nothing else but the beautiful stranger with whom he 
had danced so often, and with whom he was so much 
in love. And the bear beneath the table smiled to itself, 
and muttered: 'I am the beautiful stranger; oh, how I 
have taken you in ! ' 

The next evening there was a second ball, and, as you 
may believe, the prince was determined not to miss it, for 
he thought he would once more see the lovel} 7 girl, and 
dance with her and talk to her, and make her talk to him, 
for at the first ball she had never opened her lips. 

And, sure enough, as the music struck up the first 
dance, the beautiful stranger entered the room, looking 
even more radiant than the night before, for this time 
her dress was woven out of the rays of the sun. AH 
evening the prince danced with her, but she never spoke 
a word. 

When the ball was over he tried once more to follow 
her carriage, that he might know whence she came, 
but suddenly a great waterspout fell from the sky, and 
the blinding sheets of rain hid her from his sight. 

AVhen he reached his home he told his mother that he 
had again seen the lovely girl, and that this time she had 
been even more beautiful than the night before. And 

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THE BEAR 273 

again the bear smiled beneath the table, and mut- 
tered : i I have taken him in a second time, and he has no 
idea that I am the beautiful girl with whom he is so 
much in love.' 

On the next evening, the prince returned to the 
palace for the third ball. And the princess went too, and 
this time she had changed her bear's skin into a dress 
woven out of the starlight, studded all over with gems, 
and she looked so dazzling and so beautiful, that everyone 
wondered at her, and said that no one so beautiful had 
ever been seen before. And the prince danced with 
her, and, though he could not induce her to speak, he 
succeeded in slipping a ring on her finger. 

When the ball was over, he followed her carriage, and 
rode at such a pace that for long he kept it in sight. 
Then suddenly a terrible wind arose between him and the 
carriage, and he could not overtake it. 

When he reached his home he said to his mother, 
1 I do not know what is to become of me ; I think I shall 
go mad, I am so much in love with that girl, and I have 
no means of finding out who she is. \ danced with her 
and I gave her a ring, and }*et I do not know her name, nor 
where I am to find her.' 

Then the bear laughed beneath the table and muttered 
to itself. 

And the prince continued : ' T am tired to death. 
Order some soup to be made for me, but I don't want 
that bear to meddle with it. Every time I speak of my 
love the brute mutters and laughs, and seems to mock at 
me. I hate the sight of the creature ! ' 

When the soup was ready, the bear brought it to the 
prince; but before handing it to him, she dropped into 
the plate the ring the prince had given her the night 
before at the ball. The prince began to eat his soup very 
slowly and languidly, for he was sad at heart, and all his 
thoughts were busy, wondering how and where he could see 
the lovely stranger again. Suddenly he noticed the ring 

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274 THE BEAU 

at the bottom of the plate. Tn a moment he recognised 
it, and was dumb with surprise. 

Then he saw the bear standing beside him, looking at 
him with gentle, beseeching eyes, and something in the 
eyes of the bear made him say : ' Take oft* that skin, some 
mystery is hidden beneath it.' 

And the bear's skin dropped off, and the beautiful girl 
stood before him, in the dress woven out of the starlight, 
and he saw that she was the stranger with whom he had 
fallen so deeply in love. And now she appeared to him 
a thousand times more beautiful than ever, and lie led her 
to his mother. And the princess told them her story, 
and how she had been kept shut up by her father in his 
palace, and how she had wearied of her imprisonment. 
And the prince's mother loved her, and rejoiced that her 
son should have so good and beautiful a wife. 

So they were married, and lived happily for many 
years, and reigned wisely over their kingdom. 



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275 



THE SUNCHILD 

Once there was a woman who had no children, and this 
made her very unhappy. So she spoke one day to the 
Sanball, saying: 'Dear Sunball, send me only a little 
girl now, and when she is twelve years old you may take 
her back again. 5 

So soon after this the Sunball sent her a little girl, 
whom the woman called Letiko, and watched over with 
great care till she was twelve years old. Soon after that, 
while Letiko was away one day gathering herbs, the 
Sunball came to her, and said : ' Letiko, when you go 
home, tell your mother that she must bethink herself of 
what she promised me.' 

Then Letiko went straight home, and said to her 
mother: ' While I was gathering herbs a fine tall gentle- 
man came to me and charged me to tell you that you 
should remember what you promised him/ 

When the woman heard that she was sore afraid, and 
immediately shut all the doors and windows of the house, 
stopped up all the chinks and holes, and kept Letiko 
hidden away, that the Sunball should not come and take 
her away. But she forgot to close up the keyhole, and 
through it the Sunball sent a ray into the house, which 
took hold of the little girl and carried her away to him. 

One day, the Sunball having sent her to the straw 
shed to fetch straw, the girl sat down on the piles of 
straw and bemoaned herself, saying : ' As sighs this 
straw under my feet so sighs my heart after my mother.' 

And this caused her to be so long away that the 

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276 THE SUNGIIILD 

Sunball asked her, when she came back: 'Eh, Letiko, 
where have you been so long?' 

She answered : ' My slippers are too big, and I could 
not go faster.' 

Then the Sunball made the slippers shorter. 

Another time he sent her to fetch water, and when 
she came to the spring, she sat down and lamented, 
saying : ; As flows the water even so flows my heart with 
longing for my mother.' 

Thus she again remained so long away that the 
Sunball asked her : ' Eh, Letiko, why have you re- 
mained so long away?' 

And she answered : ' My petticoat is too long and 
hinders me in walking.' 

Then the Sunball cut her petticoat to make it shorter. 

Another time the Sunball sent her to bring him a 
pair of sandals, and as the girl carried these in her hand 
she began to lament, saying: 'As creaks the leather so 
creaks my heart after my little mother.' 

When she came home the Sunball asked her again: 
' Eh, Letiko, why do you come home so late?' 

' My red hood is too wide, and falls over my eyes, 
therefore I could not go fast.' 

Then he made the hood narrower. 

At last, however, the Sunball became aware, how sad 
Letiko was. lie sent her a second time to bring straw, 
and, slipping in after her, he heard how she lamented for 
her mother. Then he went home, called two foxes to 
him, and said: 'Will you take Letiko home?' 

' Yes, why not? ' 

k Tint what will you eat and drink if you should 
become hungry and thirsty by the way?' 

' We will eat her flesh and drink her blood.' 

When the Sunball heard that, he said : ' You are not 
suited for this affair.' 

Then he sent them away, and called two hares to him, 
and said : c Will you take Letiko home to her mother? * 

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THE SUXCIIILD 



277 



* Yes, why not? ' 

' What will you eat and drink if you should become 
hungry and thirsty 
by the way? ' 

4 We "will eat 
grass and drink from 
streamlets.' 

i Then take her, 
and bring her home.' 

Then the hares 
set out, taking Letiko 
with them, and be- 
cause it was a long 
way to her home 
they became hungry 
by the way. Then 
they said to the little 
girl : ' Climb this 
tree, dear Letiko, and 
remain there till we 
have finished eating.' 

So Letiko climb- 
ed the tree, and the 
hares went grazing. 

Tt was not very 
long, however, be- 
fore a lamia came 
under the tree and 
called out : ' Letiko, 
Letiko, come down 
and see what beauti- 
ful shoes T have On.' 

' Oh ! nvy shoes 
are much finer than 
yours.' 

' Come down. 




yet swept. 1 



1 am in a hurry, for my house is not 
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1278 THE SUNCIIILD 

' Go home and sweep it then, and come back when 
you are ready.' 

Then the lamia went away and swept her house, and 
when she was ready she came back and called out : 
' Letiko, Letiko, come down and see what a beautiful 
apron I have.' 

' Oh! my apron is much finer than 'yours.' 

' Jf you will not come down I will cut down the 
tree and eat you.' 

' Do so, and then eat me.* 

Then the lamia hewed with all her strength at the 
tree, but could not cut it down. And when she saw that, 
she called out: ' Letiko, Letiko, come down, for I must 
feed my children.' 

*■ Go home then and feed them, and come back when 
you are ready.' 

When the lamia was gone away, Letiko called out : 
'Little hares! little hares!' 

Then said one hare to the other : ' Listen, Letiko is 
calling ; ' and they both ran back to her as fast as they 
could go. Then Letiko came down from the tree, and 
they went on their way. 

The lamia ran as fast as she could after them, to 
catch them up, and when she came to a field where 
people Avere working she asked them: 'Have you seen 
any one pass this way?' 

They answered : ' AVe arc planting beans/ 

'Oh! I did not ask about that; but if anyone had 
passed this way.' 

But the people only answered the louder: 'Are 
you deaf? It is beans, beans, beans we are plant- 
ing.' 

When Letiko hod nearly reached her home the dog 
knew her, and called out, ' Bow wow ! see here comes 
Letiko ! ' 

And the mother said, ' Hush ! thou beast of ill-omen ! 
wilt thou make me burst with misery ? ? 

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THE SUXCIIILJ) 



279 



Next the eat on the roof saw her, and called out 
' Miaouw ! miaouw ! see here comes Letiko ! * 

And the mother said, ' Keep silence ! thou beast of ill- 
omen ! wilt thou make me burst with miser} 7 ? ' 

Then the cock spied, and called out : c Cock-a-doodle- 
do ! see here comes Letiko ! ' 

And the mother said again: 'Be quiet! thou bird of 
ill-omen! wilt thou make me burst with misery?' 




lie nearer Letiko and the two hares came to the 
house the nearer also came the lamia, and when the hare 
was about to slip in by the house door she caught it by 
its little tail and tore it out. 

When the hare came in the mother stood up and said 
to it: - AVelcome, dear little hare; because you have 
brought me back Letiko T will silver your little tail.' 

And she did so ; and lived ever after with her daughter 
in happiness and content. 

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280 



THE DAUGHTER OF BUK' ETTEMSUCH 

Once upon a time there lived a man who had seven 
daughters. For a long time they dwelt quite happily at 
home together, then one morning the father called them 
all before him and said: 

' Your mother and I are going on a journey, and as 
we do not know how long we may be away, you will find 
enough provisions in the house to last you three years. 
But see you do not open the door to any one till we come 
home again.' 

i Very well, dear father,' replied the girls. 

For two years they never left the house or unlocked 
the door ; but one day, when they had washed their clothes, 
and were spreading them out on the roof to dry, the girls 
looked down into the street where people were walking to 
and fro, and across to the market, with its stalls of fresh 
meat, vegetable, and other nice things. 

c Come here,' cried one. ' ft makes me quite hungry! 
Why should not we have our share? Let one of us go to 
the market, and buy meat and vegetables. ' 

c Oh, we mustn't do that! ' said the youngest. 4 You 
know our father forbade us to open the door till he came 
home again.' 

Then the eldest sister sprang at her and struck her, 
the second spit at her, the third abused her, the fourth 
pushed her, the fifth flung her to the ground, and the 
sixth tore her clothes. Then they left her tying on the 
floor, and went out with a basket. 

In about an hour they came back with the basket full 

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THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEMSUCIl 281 

of meat and vegetables, which they put in a pot, and set 
on the fire, quite forgetting that the house door stood 
wide open. The youngest sister, however, took no part 
in all this, and when dinner was ready and the table laid, 
she stole softly out to the entrance hall, and hid herself 
behind a great cask which stood in one corner. 

Now, while the other sisters were enjoying their feast, 
a witch passed by, and catching sight of the open door, 
she walked in. She went up to the eldest girl, and said : 
k Where shall I begin on you, you fat bolster? ' 

'You must begin,' answered she 'with the hand which 
struck my little sister.' 

So the witch gobbled her up, and when the last scrap 
had disappeared, she came to the second and asked : 
c Where shall I begin on you, my fat bolster? ' 

And the second answered, fc You must begin on my 
mouth, which spat on my sister.' 

And so on to the rest; and very soon the whole six 
had disappeared. And as the witch was eating the last 
mouthful of the last sister, the } T oungest, who had been 
crouching, frozen with horror, behind the barrel, ran out 
through the open door into the street. Without looking 
behind her, she hastened on and on, as fast as her feet 
would carry her, till she saw an ogre's castle standing in 
front of her. In a corner near the door she spied a large 
pot, and she crept softly up to it and pulled the cover 
over it, and went to sleep. 

By-and-by the ogre came home. ' Fee, Fo, Fum,' 
cried he, ' I smell the smell of a man. What ill fate has 
brought him here?' And he looked through all the rooms, 
and found nobody. l Where are yon?' he called. ' Do 
not be afraid, I will do you no harm.' 

But the girl was still silent. 

1 Come out, I tell you/ repeated the ogre. fc Your life 
is quite safe. If you are an old man, you shall be my 
father. If you are a boy, you shall be my son. If your 
years arc as ™»^jp™fr fc^JM^ brother. If 



282 THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEMSUCH. 

you are an old woman, yon shall be my mother. If yon 
are a young one, you shall he my daughter. If yon are 
middle-aged, you shall be my wife. So come out, and 
fear nothing.' 

Then the maiden came out of her hiding-place, and 
stood before him. 

k Fear nothing,' said the ogre again; and when he 
went away to hunt he left her to look after the house. 
In the evening he returned, bringing with him hares, 
partridges, and gazelles, for the girl's supper; for himself 
he only cared for the flesh of men, which she cooked for 
him. He also gave into her charge the keys of six rooms, 
but the key of the seventh he kept himself. 

And time passed on, and the girl and the ogre still 
lived together. 

She called him l Father,' and he called her ' Daughter/ 
and never once did he speak roughly to her. 

One day the maiden said to him, ' Father, give me the 
key of the upper chamber.' 

' No, my daughter,' replied the ogre. ' There is 
nothing there that is any use to you.' 

' But I want the key, 7 she repeated again. 

However the ogre took no notice, and pretended not 
to hear. The girl began to cry, and said to herself: ' To- 
night, when he thinks I am asleep, I will watch and see 
where he hides it ' ; and after she and the ogre had supped, 
she bade him good-night, and left the room. In a few 
minutes she stole quietly back, and watched from behind a 
curtain. In a little while she saw the ogre take the key 
from his pocket, and hide it in a hole in the ground be- 
fore he went to bed. And when all was still she took 
out the key, and went back to the house. 

The next morning the ogre awoke with the first ray 
of light, and the first thing he did was to look for the key. 
It was gone, and he guessed at once what had become of 
it. 

But instead of getting into a great rage, as most ogres 

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) 



£)>e. Maiden, creeps oat of tta Tob^ 



^^ 



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THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEM&UCII 285 

would have done, he said to himself, ' If I wake the 
maiden up I shall only frighten her. For to-day she 
shall keep the key, and when I return to-night it will 
be time enough to take it from her/ So he went off to 
hunt. 

The moment he was safe out of the way, the girl ran 
upstairs and opened the door of the room, which was 
quite bare. The one window was closed, and she threw 
back the lattice and looked out. Beneath lay a garden 
which belonged to the Prince, and in the garden was an 
ox, who was drawing up water from the well all by him- 
self — for there was nobody to be seen anywhere. The 
ox raised his head at the noise the girl made in opening 
the lattice, and said to her, 4 Good morning, O daughter 
of Buk Kttemsuch ! Your father is feeding you up till 
you are nice and fat, and then he will put you on a spit 
and cook you/ 

These words so frightened the maiden that she burst 
into tears and ran out of the room. All day she wept, 
and when the ogre came home at uight, no supper was 
ready for him. 

4 What are you crying for? 1 said he. 'Where is my 
supper, and is it you who have opened the upper 
chamber?' 

4 Yes, I opened it,' answered she. 

' And what did the ox say to you? ' 

4 He said, 4 ' Good morning, O daughter of link Ettem- 
such. Your father is feeding you up till you are nice and 
fat, and then he will put you on a spit and cook you." ' 

4 Well, to-morrow you can go to the window and say, 
^ My father is feeding me up till I am nice and fat, but 
he does not mean to eat me. If I had one of your eyes 
I would use it for a mirror, and look at myself before and 
behind; and your girths should be loosened, and you 
should be blind — seven days and seven nights. 

4 All right/ replied the girl, and the next morning, 
when the ox spoke to her, she answered hi in as she had 

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286 THE DAUGHTER OF BUR ETTEMSUCH 

been told, and he fell down straight upon the ground, 
and lay there seven days and seven nights. But the 
flowers in the garden withered, for there was no one to 
water them. 

When the prince came into his garden he found 
nothing but yellow stalks ; in the midst of them the ox 
was lying. With a blow from his sword he killed the 
animal, and, turning to his attendants, he said, ' Go and 
fetch another ox!' And they brought in a great beast, 
and he drew the water out of the well, and the flowers 
revived, and the grass grew green again. Then the 
prince called his attendants and went away. 

The next morning the girl heard the noise of the water- 
wheel, and she opened the lattice and looked out of the 
window. 

1 Good morning, O daughter of Buk Ettemsuch!' 
said the new ox. ' Your father is feeding you up till you 
are nice and fat, and then he will put you on a spit and 
cook you/ 

And the maiden answered : ' My father is feeding 
me up till I am nice and fat, but he does not mean to 
eat me. If I had one of your eyes I would use it for a 
mirror, and look at myself before and behind; and your 
girths should be loosened, and you should be blind — ■ seven 
days and seven nights.' 

Directly she uttered these words the ox fell to the 
ground and lay there, seven days and seven nights. 
Then he arose and began to draw the water from the 
well. He had only turned the wheel once or twice, when 
the prince took it into his head to visit his garden and 
see how the new ox was getting on. When he entered 
the ox was working busily; but in spite of that the 
flowers and grass were dried up. And the prince drew 
his sword, and rushed at the ox to slay him, as he had 
done the other. But the ox fell on his knees and said: 

4 My lord, only spare my life, and let me tell you how 
it happened.' 

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THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEMSUCIl 287 



1 How what hap- 
pened ? ' asked the 
prince. 

' My lord, a girl 
looked out of that 
window and spoke a 
few words to me, and 
I fell to the ground. 
For seven days and 
seven nights I lay 
there, unable to move. 
But, my lord, it is 
not given to us twice 
to behold beauty such 
as hers.' 

t Jt is a lie/ said 
the prince. 'An ogre 
dwells there. Js it 
likely that he keeps a 
maiden in his upper 
chamber ? ' 

' Why not? ' replied 
the ox. w But if you 
come here at dawn to- 
morrow, and hide be- 
hind that tree, you will 
see for yourself.' 

< So I will/ said the 
prince; ' and if T find 
that you have not 
spoken truth, I will kill 
you.' 

The prince left the 
garden, and the ox went 
on with his work. 
Next morning the 
prince came 




early to 
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288 THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEMSUCH 

the garden, and found the ox busy Tsitli the water- 
wheel. 

1 Has the girl appeared jet? ' he asked. 

' Not yet; but she will not be long. Hide yourself in 
the branches of that tree, and } t ou will soon see her.' 

The prince did as he was told, and scarcely was he 
seated when the maiden threw open the' lattice. 

fc Good morning, O daughter of Buk Ettemsuch ! ' said 
the ox. 'Your father is feeding you up till you are nice 
and fat, and then he will put you on a spit and eook 
you/ 

k My father is feeding me up till I am nice and fat, but 
he does not mean to eat me. If I had one of your e} 7 es 
I would use it for a mirror, and look at myself before and 
behind ; and your girths should be loosened, and you 
should be blind — seven days and seven nights. And 
hardly had she spoken when the ox fell on the ground, 
and the maiden shut the lattice and Avent away, lint the 
prince knew that what the ox had said was true, and that 
she had not her equal in the whole world. And he came 
down from the tree, his heart burning with love. 

' Why has the ogre not eaten her? ' thought he. ' This 
night 1 will invite him to supper in my palace and question 
him about the maiden, and find out if she is his wife.' 

So the prince ordered a great ox to be slain and 
roasted whole, and two huge tanks to be made, one filled 
with water and the other with wine. And towards 
evening he called his attendants and went to the ogre's 
house to wait in the courtyard till he came back from 
hunting. The ogre Avas surprised to see so man} 7 people 
assembled in front of his house; but he bowed politely 
and said, ' Good morning, dear neighbours! To what do 
I owe the pleasure of this visit? I have not offended you, 
I hope?' 

4 Oh, certainly not! ' answered the prince. 

'Then,' continued the ogre, 'what has brought you 
to my house to-day for the first time?' 

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THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEMSUCH 289 

4 We should like to have supper with you,' said the 
prince. 

4 Well, supper is ready, and you are welcome,' replied 
the og're, leading the way into the house, for he had had 
a good day, and there was plenty of game in the bag over 
his shoulder. 

A table was quickly prepared, and the prince had 
already taken his place, when he suddenly exclaimed, 
' After all, Buk Ettemsuch, suppose you come to suppei 
with me ? ' 

'Where?' asked the ogre. 

4 In my house. I know it is all ready.' 

'But it is so far off — why not stay here? ' 

4 Oh, I will come another day ; but this evening I must 
be your host.' 

So the ogre accompanied the prince and his attend- 
ants back to the palace. After a while the prince turned 
to the ogre and said : 

4 It is as a wooer that I appear before you. I seek a 
wife from an honourable family.' 

4 But I have no daughter,' replied the ogre. 

4 Oh, yes you have, I saw her at the window.' 

1 Well, you can marry her if you wish,' said he. 

So the prince's heart was glad as he and his attend- 
ants rode back with the ogre to his house. And as they 
parted, the prince said to his guest, 4 You will not forget 
the bargain we have made?' 

'I am not a young man, and never break my pro- 
mises,' said the ogre, and went in and shut the door. 

Upstairs he found the maiden, waiting till he returned 
to have her supper, for she did not like eating by herself. 

4 I have had my supper,' said the ogre, i for I have 
been spending the evening with the prince.' 

' Where did you meet him?' asked the girl. 

4 Oh, we are neighbours, and grew up together, and 
to-night I promised that you should lie his wife.' 

4 1 don't want to be any man's wife,' answered she ; 

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200 THE DA CGI ITER OF BUK ETTEMSUCH 

but this was only pretence, for her heart too was 
glad. 

Next morning early came the prince, bringing with 
him bridal gifts, and splendid wedding garments, to carry 
the maiden back to his palace. 

But before he let her go the ogre called her to him, 
and said, 'Be careful, girl, never to speak to the prince; 
and when he speaks to you, you must be dumb, unless he 
swears u by the head of Buk Ettemsuch." Then you may 
speak/ 

' Very well,' answered the girl. 

They set out; and when they reached the palace, the 
prince led his bride to the room he had prepared for her, 
and said ' Speak to me, my wife,' but she was silent; and 
by-and-by he left her, thinking that perhaps she was shy. 
The next day the same thing happened, and the next. 

At last he said, ' Well, if you won't speak, I shall go 
and get another wife who will/ And he did. 

Now when the new wife was brought to the palace the 
daughter of Buk Ettemsuch rose, and spoke to the ladies 
who had come to attend on the second bride. ' Go and 
sit down. 1 will make ready the feast/ And the ladies 
sat down as they were told, and waited. 

The maiden sat down too, and called out, ' Come here, 
firewood,' and the firewood came. k Come here, fire/ and 
the fire came and kindled the wood. L Come here, pot/ 
1 Come here, oil ; ' and the pot and the oil came. ' Get into 
the pot, oil!' said she, and the oil did it. When the oil 
was boiling, the maiden dipped all her fingers in it, and 
they became ten fried fishes. L Come here, oven/ she cried 
next, and the oven came. ' Eire, heat the oven/ And the 
fire heated it. AVhen it was hot enough, the maiden 
jumped in, just as she was, with her beautiful silver and 
gold dress, and all her jewels. In a minute or two she 
had turned into a snow-white loaf, that made your mouth 
water. 

Said the loaf to the ladies, ' You can eat now ; do not 

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THE DAUGHTER OF BUK ETTEMSUGH 291 

stand so far off ; ' but they only stared at each other, 
speechless with surprise. 

4 What are you staring at? ' asked the new bride. 

' At all these wonders,' replied the ladies. 

* Do you call these wonders?' said she scornfully; l I 
can do that too,' and she jumped straight into the oven, 
and was burnt up in a moment. 

Then they ran to the prince and said : c Come quickly, 
your wife is dead ! ' 

' Bury her, then ! ' returned he. ' But why did she do 
it? I am sure I said nothing to make her throw herself 
into the oven.' 

Accordingly the burnt woman was buried, but the 
prince w T ould not go to the funeral as all his thoughts 
were still with the wife who would not speak to him. 
The next night he said to her, 4 Dear wife, are you afraid 
that something dreadful will happen if you speak to me? 
If you still persist in being dumb, I shall be forced to get 
another wife.' The poor girl longed to speak, but dread 
of the ogre kept her silent, and the prince did as he had 
said, and brought a fresh bride into the palace. And 
when she and her ladies were seated in state, the maiden 
planted a sharp stake in the ground, and sat herself down 
comfortably on it, and began to spin. 

4 What are you staring at so?' said the new bride to 
her Indies. 4 Do you think that is anything wonderful? 
Why, I can do as much myself ! ' 

' I am sure you can't,' said they, much too surprised to 
be polite. 

Then the maid sprang off the stake and left the room, 
and instantly the new wife took her place. But the sharp 
stake ran through, and she was dead in a moment. So 
they sent to the prince and said, ' Come quickly, and bury 
your wife.' 

' Bury her yourselves,' he answered. 'What did she 
do it for? It was not by my orders that she impaled 
herself on the stake.' 

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202 THE D AUG TITER OE BUK ETTEMSUCH 

80 they buried her; mid in the evening the prince 
came to the daughter of Buk Ettemsuch, and said to her, 
4 Speak to me, or I shall have to take another wife.' But 
she was afraid to speak to him. 

The following day the prince hid himself in the room 
and watched. And soon the maiden woke, and said to 
the pitcher and to the water-jug, 4 Quick ! go down to the 
spring and bring me some water; 1 am thirsty.' 

And they went. But as they were filling themselves at 
the spring, the water-jug knocked against the pitcher and 
broke off its spout. And the pitcher burst into tears, and 
ran to the maiden, and said : L Mistress, beat the water- 
jug, for he has broken my spout ! ' 

4 By the head of Buk Ettemsuch, I implore you not 
to beat me ! ' 

' Ah,' she replied, ' if only my husband had sworn by 
that oath, I could have spoken to him from the beginning, 
and he need never have taken another wife. But now he 
will never say it, and he will have to go on marrying fresh 
ones.' 

And the prince, from his hiding-place, heard her words, 
and he jumped up and ran to her and said, 4 By the head 
of Buk Ettemsuch, speak to me.' 

80 she spoke to him, and they lived happily to the end 
of their days, because the girl kept the promise she had 
made to the ogre. 

[Narchcn itnd Grdwhtr mis rfcr Stadt Tripoli?. Von Hans Stunmie.] 



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293 



LAUGHING EYE AND WEEPING EYE, OB 
THE LIMPING FOX 

(SERVIAN STORY) 

Once upon a time there lived a man whose right eye 
always smiled, and whose left eye always cried ; and this 
man had three sons, two of them very clever, and the 
third very stupid. Now these three sons were very 
curious about the peculiarity of their father's eyes, and 
as they could not puzzle out the reason for themselves, 
they determined to ask their father why he did not have 
eyes like other people. 

So the eldest of the three went one day into his 
father's room and put the question straight out; but, 
instead of answering, the man flew into a fearful rage, 
and sprang at him with a knife. The young fellow ran 
away in a terrible fright, and took refuge with his 
brothers, who were awaiting anxiously the result of the 
interview. 

4 You had better go yourselves,' was all the reply they 
got, c and see if you will fare any better.' 

Upon hearing this, the second son entered his father's 
room, only to be treated in the same manner as his 
brother; and back he came telling the youngest, the fool 
of the family, that it was his turn to try his luck. 

Then the youngest son marched boldly up to his 
father and said to him, ' My brothers would not let me 
know what answer you had given to their question. But 

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20 1 LAUGHING EYE AND WEEPING EYE 

now, do tell me why your right eye always laughs and 
your left eye always weeps/ 

As before, the father grew purple with fury, and 
rushed forwards with his knife. But the simpleton did 
not stir a step ; he knew that he had really nothing to 
fear from his father. 

'Ah, now I see who is my true son,' exclaimed the 
old man ; ' the others are mere cowards. And as you 
have shown me that you are brave, [ will satisfy your 
curiosity. My right eye laughs because I am glad to have 
a son like you ; my left eye weeps because a precious 
treasure lias been stolen from me. I had in my garden a 
vine that yielded a tun of wine every hour — someone has 
managed to steal it, so 1 weep its loss.' 

The simpleton returned to his brothers and told them 
of their father's loss, and they all made up their minds to 
set out at once in search of the vine. They travelled 
together till they came to some cross roads, and there 
they parted, the two elder ones taking one road, and the 
simpleton the other. 

4 Thank goodness we have got rid of that idiot,' ex- 
claimed the two elder. ' Now let us hove some break- 
fast. ' And they sat down by the roadside and began to 
eat. 

They had only half finished, when a lame fox came out 
of a wood and begged them to give him something to eat. 
But they jumped up and chased him off with their sticks, 
and the poor fox limped away on his three pads. As he ran 
he reached the spot where the youngest son was getting 
out the food he had brought with him, and the fox asked 
him for a crust of bread. The simpleton had not very 
mueh for himself, but he gladly gave half of his meal to 
the hungry fox. 

4 AVhere are you going, brother?' said the fox, when 
he had finished his share of the bre:ul; and the young 
man told him the story of his father and the wonderful 
vine. 

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LAUGHING EYE AND WEEPING EYE 297 

4 Dear me, how lucky! ' said the fox. ' I know what 
has become of it. Follow me ! ' So they went on till 
they came to the gate of a large garden. 

4 You will find here the vine that you are seeking, but 
it will not be at all easy to get it. You must listen care- 
fully to what I am going to say. Before you reach the 
vine you will have to pass twelve outposts, each con- 
sisting of two guards. If you see these guards looking 
straight at you, go on without fear, for they are asleep. 
But if their eyes are shut then beware, for they are wide 
awake. If you once get to the vine, you will find two 
shovels, one of wood and the other of iron. Be sure not 
to take the iron one ; it will make a noise and rouse the 
guards, and then you are lost.' 

The young man got safely through the garden without 
any adventures till he came to the vine which yielded a 
tun of wine an hour. But he thought he should find it 
impossible to dig the hard earth with only a wooden 
shovel, so picked up the iron one instead. The noise it 
made soon awakened the guards. They seized the poor 
simpleton and canied him to their master. 

4 Why do you try to steal my vine?' demanded he; 
'and how did you manage to get past the guards?' 

4 The vine is not yours ; it belongs to my father, and 
if you will not give it to me now, I will return and get it 
somehow/ 

4 You shall have the vine if you will bring me in 
exchange an apple off the golden apple-tree that flowers 
every twenty-four hours, and bears fruit of gold.' So 
saying, he gave orders that the simpleton should be 
released, and this done, the youth hurried off to consult 
the fox. 

4 Now you see,' observed the fox, 4 this comes of not 
following my advice. However, I will help you to get 
the golden apple. It grows in a garden that yon will 
easily recognise from my description. Near the apple- 
tree are two poles, one of gold, the other of wood. 

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298 LAUGHING EYE AND WEEPING EYE 

Take the wooden pole, and you will be able to reach the 
apple.' 

Master Simpleton listened carefully to all that was 
told him, and after crossing the garden, and escaping as 
before from the men who were watching it, soon arrived 
at the apple-tree. But he was so dazzled by the sight of 
the beautiful golden fruit, that he quite forgot all that the 
fox had said. He seized the golden pole, and struck the 
branch a sounding blow. The guards at once awoke, and 
conducted him to their master. Then the simpleton had 
to tell his story. 

4 1 will give } T ou the golden apple,' said the owner of 
the garden, ' if you will bring me in exchange a horse 
which can go round the world in four-and-twenty hours.' 
And the } 7 oung man departed, and went to find the fox. 

This time the fox was really angry, and no wonder. 

4 If you had listened to me, you would have been home 
with your father by this time. However I am willing to 
help } T ou once more. Go into the forest, and you will 
find the horse with two halters round his neck. One is of 
gold, the other of hemp. Lead him by the hempen halter, 
or else the horse will begin to neigh, and will waken the 
guards. Then all is over with you.' 

So Master Simpleton searched till he found the horse, 
and was struck dumb at its beauty. 

4 What!' he said to himself, 4 put the hempen halter 
on an animal like that? Not I, indeed ! ' 

Then the horse neighed loudly ; the guards seized our 
young friend and conducted him before their master. 

4 1 will give you the golden horse,' said he, 4 if you 
will bring me in exchange a golden maiden who has 
never yet seen either sun or moon.' 

4 But if I am to bring you the golden maiden you 
must lend me first the golden steed with which to seek 
for her.' 

4 Ah,' replied the owner of the golden horse, 4 but who 
will undertake that you will ever come back? ' 

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LAUGHING EYE AND WEEPING EYE 299 

' I swear on the head of rny father/ answered the 
young man, ' that I will bring back either the maiden or 
the horse.' And lie went away to consult the fox. 

Now, the fox who was always patient and charitable 
to other people's faults, led him to the entrance of a deep 
grotto, where stood a maiden all of gold, and beautiful 
as the day. lie placed her on his horse and prepared to 
mount. 

4 Are you not sorry,' said the fox, ' to give such a 
lovely maiden in exchange for a horse? Yet you are 
bound to do it, for you have sworn by the head of your 
father. But perhaps I could manage to take her place.' 
So saying, the fox transformed himself into another 
golden maiden, so like the first that hardly anyone could 
tell the difference between them. 

The simpleton took her straight to the owner of the 
horse, who was enchanted with her. 

And the young man got back his father's vine and 
married the real golden maiden into the bargain. 



[Conies Pojmfaires Slaves. Traduits par Louis Leger. Paris : Ernest Leroux, 
editeur.] 



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300 



THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 
(polish story) 

A long time ago there lived a king and' queen who had 
no children, although they both wished very much for a 
little son. They tried not to let each other sec how 
unhappy they were, and pretended to take pleasure 
in hunting and hawking and all sorts of other sports; 
but at length the king could bear it no longer, and 
declared that he must go and visit the furthest corners 
of his kingdom, and that it would be many months before 
he should return to his capital. 

By that time he hoped he would have so many things 
to think about that he would have forgotten to trouble 
about the little son who never came. 

The country the king reigned over was very large, and 
full of high, stony mountains and sandy deserts, so that it 
was not at all easy to go from one place to another. One 
day the king had wandered out alone, meaning to go only 
a little distance, but everything looked so alike he could 
not make out the path by which he had come. lie walked 
on and on for hours, the sun beating hotly on his head, 
and his legs trembling under him, and he might have died 
of thirst if he had not suddenly stumbled on a little well, 
which looked a3 if it had been newly dug. On the 
surface floated a silver cup with a golden handle, but 
as it bobbed about whenever the king tried to seize it, he 
was too thirsty to wait any longer and knelt down and 
drank his till. 

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THE UXLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 301 

When lie had finished he begun to rise from his knees, 
but somehow his beard seemed to have stuck fast in the 
water, and with all his efforts he could not pull it out. 
After two or three jerks to his head, which onty hurt hiin 
without doing any good, he called out angrily, fc Let go a* 
once ! Who is holding me? ' 

k It is I, the King Kostiei,' said a voice from the well, 
and looking up through the water was a little man with 
green eyes and a big head. ; You have drunk from my 
spring, and I shall not let you go until you promise to 
give me the most precious thing your palace contains, 
which was not there when you left it.' 

Now the only thing that the king much cared for in 
his palace was the queen herself, and as she was weeping 
bitterly on a pile of cushions in the great hall when he 
had ridden away, he knew that Kostie'fs words could not 
apply to her. So he cheerfully gave the promise asked for 
by the ugly little man, and iu the twinkling of an eye, 
man, spring, and cup had disappeared, and the king was 
left kneeling on the dry sand, wondering if it was all a 
dream. But as he feit much stronger and better he made 
up his mind that this strange adventure must really have 
happened, and he sprang on his horse and rode off with a 
light heart to look for his companions. 

In a few weeks they began to set out on their return 
home, which they reached one hot day, eight months after 
they had all left. The king was greatly beloved b} T his 
people, and crowds lined the roads, shouting and waving 
their hats as the procession passed along. On the steps 
of the palace stood the queen, with a splendid golden 
cushion in her arms, and on the cushion the most beautiful 
boy that ever was seen, wrapped about in a cloud of lace. 
h\ a moment Kostiei's words rushed into the king's nniui, 
and he began to weep bitterly, to the surprise of every- 
body, who had expected him nearly to die of joy at the 
sight of his son. But try as he would and work as hard 
as he might he could never forget his promise, and every 

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302 THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 

time he let the baby out of his sight he thought that he 
had seeu it for the last time. 

However, years passed on and the prince grew first into 
a big boy, and then into a fine young man. Kostiei made 
no sign, and gradually even the anxious king thought less 
and less about him, and in the end forgot him altogether. 

There was no family in the whole kingdom happier 
than the king and queen and prince, until one day when 
the youth met a little old man as he was hunting in a 
lonely part of the woods. 

4 How are you, my unlooked-for Prince?' he said. 
' You kept them waiting a good long time 1 ' 

L And who are you? ' asked the prince. 

4 You will know soon enough. When 3'ou go home 
give my compliments to your father and tell him that I 
wish he would square accounts with me. If he neglects 
to pay his debts he will bitterly repent it/ 

So saying the old man disappeared, and the prince 
returned to the palace and told his father what had 
happened. 

The king turned pale and explained to his son the 
terrible story. 

4 Do not grieve over it, father,' answered the prince. 
'It is nothing so dreadful after all! I will find some way 
to force Kostiei to give up his rights over me. But if I 
do not come back in a year's time, you must give up all 
hopes of ever seeing me.' 

Then the prince began to prepare for his journey. His 
father gave him a complete suit of steel armour, a sword, 
and a horse, while his mother hung round his neck a 
cross of gold. So, kissing him tenderly, with many tears 
they let him go. 

He rode steadily on for three days, and at sunset on 
the fourth day he found himself on the seashore. On 
the sand before him lay twelve white dresses, dazzling as 
the snow, yet as far as his eyes could reach there was no 
one in sight to whom they could belong. Curious to see 

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THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 303 

what would happen, he took up one of the garments, 
and leaving his horse loose, to wander about the adjoining 
fields, he hid himself among some willows and waited. 
In a few minutes a flock of geese which had been 
paddling about in the sea approached the shore, and put 
on the dresses, struck the sand with their feet and were 
transformed in the twinkling of an eye into eleven beau- 
tiful young girls, who flew away as fast as they could. 
The twelfth and youngest remained in the water, stretching 
out her long white neck and looking about her anxiously. 
Suddenly, among the willows, she perceived the king's 
son, and called out to him with a human voice : 

4 Oh Prince, give me back my dress, and I shall be 
for ever grateful to you.' 

The Prince hastened to lay the dress on the sand, 
and walked away. When the maiden had thrown off the 
goose-skin and quickly put on her proper clothes, she 
came towards him and he saw that none had ever seen or 
told of such beauty as hers. She blushed and held out 
her hand, saying to him in a soft voice : 

4 I thank you, noble Prince, for having granted my 
request. I am the youngest daughter of Kostiei the 
immortal, who has twelve daughters and rules over the 
kingdoms under the earth. Long time my father has 
waited for you, and great is his anger. But trouble not 
yourself and fear nothing, only do as I bid you. When 
you see the King Kostiei, fall straightway upon your 
knees and heed neither his threats nor his cry, but draw 
near to him boldly. That which will happen after, you 
will know in time. Now let us go.' 

At these words she struck the ground with her foot 
and a gulf opened, down which they went right into the 
heart of the earth. In a short time they reached Kostiei's 
palace, which gives light, with a light brighter than the 
sun, to the dark kingdoms below. And the prince, as 
he had been bidden, entered boldly into the hall. 

Kostiei, with a shining crown upou his head, sat in 

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304 THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 

the centre upon a golden throne. His green eyes glittered 
like glass, his hands were as the claws of a crab. When 
he caught sight of the prince he uttered piercing yells, 
which shook the walls of the palace. The prince took 
no notice, but continued his advance on his knees 
towards the throne. When he had almost reached it, 
the king broke out into a laugh and said : 

4 It has been very lucky for you that you have 
been able to make me laugh. Stay with us in our under- 
ground empire, only first you will have to do three things. 
To-night it is late. Go to sleep; to-morrow I will tell 

you/ 

Early the following morning the prince received a 
message that Kostiei was ready to see him. lie got up 
and dressed, and hastened to the presence chamber, 
where the little king was seated on his throne. When 
the prince appeared, bowing low before him, Kostiei 
began : 

4 Now, Prince, this is what you have to do. By to-night 
you must build me a marble palace, with windows of 
crystal and a roof of gold. It is to stand in the middle 
of a great park, full of streams and lakes. If you are 
able to build it you shall be my friend. If not, off with 
your head.' 

The prince listened in silence to this startling speech, 
and then returning to his room set himself to think 
about the certain death that awaited him. He was quite 
absorbed in these thoughts, when suddenly a bee Hew 
against the window and tapped, saying, ' Let me come in.' 
He rose and opened the window, and there stood before 
him the youngest princess. 

k What are you dreaming about, Prince?' 
c I was dreaming of your father, who has planned my 
death.' 

; Fear nothing. You may sleep in peace, and to- 
morrow morning when you awake you svill find the 
palace all ready.' 

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THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 305 

"What she said, she did. The next morning when the 
prince left his room he saw before him a palace more 
beautiful than his fancy had ever pictured. Kostiei for 
his part could hardl}' believe his eyes, and pondered 
deeply how it had got there. 

1 Well, this time you have certainly won; but you 
are not going to be let off so easily. To-morrow all my 
twelve daughters shall stand in a row before you, and if 
yon cannot tell me which of them is the youngest, off 
goes your head/ 

4 What ! Not recognise the youngest princess ! ' said 
the Prince to himself, as he entered his room, ' a likely 
story ! ' 

4 It is such a difficult matter that you will never be 
able to do it without my help,' replied the bee, who 
was buzzing about the ceiling. 4 We are all so exactly 
alike, that even our father scarcely knows the difference 
between us.' 

4 Then what must I do?' 

4 This. The youngest is she who will have a laxtybird 
on her eyelid. Be very careful. Now good-bye.' 

Next morning King Kostiei again sent for the prince. 
The young princesses were all drawn up in a row, 
dressed precisely in the same manner, and with their 
eyes all cast down. As the prince looked at them, he 
was amazed at their likeness. Twice he walked along 
the line, without being able to detect the sign agreed 
upon. The third time his heart beat fast at the sight of 
a tiny speck upon the e3'elid of one of the girls. 

* This one is the youngest,' he said. 

4 How in the world did you guess? ' cried Kostiei in a 
fury. 4 There is some jugglery about it! But you are 
not going to escape me so easily. In three hours 3 t ou 
shall come here and give me another proof of your clever- 
ness. I shall set alight a handful of straw, and before it 
is burnt up you will have turned it into a pair of boots. 
If not, off goes your head/ 

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30G THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 

So the prince returned sadly into his room, but the bee 
was there before him. 

4 Why do you look so melancholy, my handsome 
Prince? 7 

4 How can I help looking melancholy when your father 
has ordered me to make him a pair of boots? Does he 
take me for a shoemaker?' 

i What do you think of doing? ' 

'Not of making boots, at any rate! I am not afraid 
of death. One can only die once after all.' 

' No, Prince, you shall not die. I will try to save you. 
And we will fly together or die together. ' 

As she spoke she spat upon the ground, and then 
drawing the prince after her out of the room, she locked 
the door behind her and threw away the key. Holding 
each other tight by the hand, they made their way up into 
the sunlight, and found themselves by the side of the 
same sea, while the prince's horse was still quietly feeding 
in the neighbouring meadow. The moment he saw his 
master, the horse whinnied and galloped towards him. 
AVithout losing an instant the prince sprang into the 
saddle, swung the princess behind him, and away they 
went like an arrow from a bow. 

When the hour arrived which Kostiei had fixed for 
the prince's last trial, and there were no signs of him, the 
king sent to his room to ask why he delayed so long. 
The servants, finding the door locked, knocked loudly 
and received for answer, ' In one moment.' It was the 
spittle, which was imitating the voice of the prince. 

The answer was taken back to Kostiei. He waited ; 
still no prince. He sent the servants back again, and 
the same voice replied, i Immediately.' 

c He is making fun of me! f shrieked Kostiei in a rjige. 
; Break in the door, and bring him to me ! ' 

The servants hurried to do his bidding. The door was 
broken open. Nobody inside ; but just the spittle in fits 
of laughter! Kostiei was beside himself with rage, and 

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THE UXLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 307 

commanded his guards to ride after the fugitives. If the 
guards returned without the fugitives, their heads should 
pay for it. 

By this time the prince and princess had got a good 
start, and were feeling quite happy, when suddenly they 
heard the sound of a gallop far behind them. The prince 
sprang from the saddle, and laid his ear to the ground. 

; They are pursuing us,' he said. 

' Then there is no time to be lost,' answered the 
princess ; and as she spoke she changed herself into a 
river, the prince into a bridge, the horse into a crow, 
and divided the wide road beyond the bridge into three 
little ones. When the soldiers came up to the bridge, 
they paused uncertainly. How were they to know 
which of the three roads the fugitives had taken? 
They gave it up in despair and returned in trembling to 
Kostiei*. 

' Idiots ! ' he exclaimed, in a passion. ' They were the 
bridge and the river, of course ! Do you mean to say 
you never thought of that? Go back at once!' and off 
they galloped like lightning. 

But time had been lost, and the prince and princess 
were far on their way. 

4 1 hear a horse,' cried the princess. 

The prince jumped down and laid his ear to the 
ground. 

6 Yes,' he said, ' they are not far off now.' 

In an instant prince, princess, and horse had all 
disappeared, and instead was a dense forest, crossed and 
recrossed by countless paths. Kostiei's soldiers dashed 
hastily into the forest, believing they saw before them the 
flying horse with its double burden. They seemed close 
upon them, when suddenly horse, wood, everything dis- 
appeared, and they found themselves at the place where 
they started. There was nothing for it but to return to 
Kostiei, and tell him of this fresh disaster. 

' A horse ! a horse! ' cried the king. ' I will go after 
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808 THE UNLOOKED-FOR PRINCE 

them myself. This time the} 7 shall not, eseape.' And he 
galloped off, foaming with anger. 

1 I think I hear someone pursuing us,' said the princess. 

1 Yes, so do L' 

' And this time it is Kostiei himself. But his power 
only reaches as far as the tirst church, and he can go no 
farther. Give me your golden cross.' , So the prince un- 
fastened the cross which was his mother's gift, and the 
princess hastily changed herself into a church, the prince 
into a priest, and the horse into a belfry. 

It was hardly done when Kostiei came up. 

4 Greeting, monk. Have you seen some travellers on 
horseback pass this way?' 

' Yes, the prince and Kostiei's daughter have just 
gone by. They have entered the church, and told me 
to give you their greetings if I met you.' 

Then Kostiei knew that he had been hopelessly beaten, 
and the prince and princess continued their journey with- 
out any more adventures. 

[Conies Popuhdres Slaves. Traduits par Louis L^ger. Paris: Lsroux, 6Jiteur.l 



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309 



THE SIMPLETON 

There lived, once upon a time, a man who was as rich 
as be could be ; but as no happiness in this world is ever 
quite complete, he had an only son who was such a 
simpleton that he could barely add two and two together. 
At last his father determined to put up with his stupidity 
no longer, and giving him a purse full of gold, he sent 
him off to seek his fortune in foreign lands, mindful of 
the adage : 

How much a fool that 's sent to roam 

Excels a fool that stays at home. 

Moscione, for this was the youth's name, mounted a 
horse, and set out for Venice, hoping to find a ship there 
that would take him to Cairo. After he had ridden for 
some time he saw a man standing at the foot of a poplar 
tree, and said to him : ' What 's your name, my friend ; 
where do you come from, and what can 3^011 do?' 

The man replied, ' My name is Quick-as-Thought, I 
come from Fleet- town, and I can run like lightning.' 

4 I should like to see you,' returned Moscione. 

'Just wait a minute, then,' said Quick-as-Thought, 
' and I will soon show you that I am speaking the truth.' 

The words were hardly out of his mouth when a 
young doe ran right across the field they were standing 
in. 

Quick-as-Thought let her run on a short distance, in 
order to give her a start, and then pursued her so quickly 

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310 THE SIMPLETON 

and so lightly that you could not have tracked his foot- 
steps if the field had been strewn with flour. In a very 
few springs he had overtaken the doe, and had so im- 
pressed Moscione with his fleetness of foot that he 
begged Qnick-as-Thonght to go with him, promising at 
the same time to reward him handsomely. 

Quick-as-Thought agreed to his proposal, and they 
continued on their journey together. They had hardly 
gone a mile when they met a young man, and Moscione 
stopped and asked him : ' What 's your name, my friend ; 
where do you come from, and what can you do?' 

The man thus addressed answered promptly, ' I am 
called Hare's-ear, I come from Curiosity Valley, and if I 
lay my ear on the ground, without moving from the spot, 
I can hear everything that goes on in the world, the 
plots and intrigues of court and cottage, and all the plans 
of mice and men.' 

' If that's the case,' replied Moscione, 'Just tell me 
what's going on in my own home at present.' 

The youth laid his ear to the ground and at once 
reported : ' An old man is saying to his wife, " Heaven be 
praised that we have got rid of Moscione, for perhaps, 
when he has been out in the world a little, he may gain 
some common sense, and return home less of a fool than 
when he set out." ' 

' Enough, enough,' cried Moscione. c You speak the 
truth, and I believe you. Come with us, and your for- 
tune 's made.' 

The young man consented ; and after they had gone 
about ten miles, they met a third man, to whom Moscione 
said : ' What 's your name, my brave fellow ; where were 
you born, and what can you do? ' 

The man replied, ' I am called Ilit-the-Point, I come 
from the city of Perfect-aim, and 1 draw my bow so 
exactly that I can shoot a pea off a stone.' 

' I should like to see you do it, if you 've no objection/ 
said Moscione. 

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THE SIMPLETON 311 

The man at once placed a pea on a stone, and, drawing 
his bow, he shot it in the middle with the greatest possible 
ease. 

AVlien Moscione saw that he had spoken the truth, 
he immediately asked Hit- the- Point to join his party. 

After they had all travelled together for some days, 
they came upon a number of people who were digging a 
trench in the blazing sun. 

Moscione felt so sorry for them, that he said : ' My 
dear friends, how can you endure working so hard in heat 
that would cook an egg in a minute? ' 

But one of the workmen answered : ' "We are as fresh 
as daisies, for we have a young man among us who 
blows on our backs like the west wind/ 

* Let me see him,' said Moscione. 

The youth was called, and Moscione asked him: 
4 What 's your name ; where do you come from, and what 
can you do?' 

He answered: ' I am called Blow-Blast, I come from 
Wind-town, and with my mouth I can make any winds 
3 t ou please. If you wish a west wind I can raise it for 
you in a second, but if you prefer a north wind I can 
blow these houses down before your eyes/ 

c Seeing is believing,' returned the cautious Moscione. 

Blow-Blast at once began to convince him of the 
truth of his assertion. First he blew so softly that it 
seemed like the gentle breeze at evening, and then he 
turned round and raised such a mighty storm, that he 
blew down a whole row of oak trees. 

When Moscione saw this he was delighted, and 
begged Blow-Blast to join his company. And as they 
went on their way they met another man, whom Moscione 
addressed as usual : ' What's your name; where do you 
come from, and what can you do? ' 

c I am called Strong-Back ; I come from Power- 
borough, and I possess such strength that I can take a 
mountain on my back, and it seems a feather to me/ 

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312 THE SIMPLETON 

4 If that's the ease,' said Moscione, ' you are a clever 
fellow; but I should like- some proof of your strength.' 

Then Strong-Back loaded himself with great boulders 
of rock and trunks of trees, so that a hundred waggons 
could not have taken away all that he carried on his 
back. 

When Moscione saw this he prevailed on Strong-Back 
to join his troop, and they all continued their journey till 
they came to a country called P'lower Yale. Here there 
reigned a king whose only daughter ran as quickly as 
the wind, and so lightly that she could run over a field of 
young oats without bending a single blade. The king 
had given out a proclamation that anyone who con Id 
beat the princess in a race should have her for a wife, but 
that all who failed in the competition should lose their 
head. 

As soon as Moscione heard of the Royal Proclamation, 
he hastened to the king and challenged the princess to 
race with him. But on the morning appointed for the 
trial he sent word to the king that he was not feeling- 
well, and that as he could not run himself he would 
supply someone to take his place. 

' It \s just the same to me,' said Canetella, the princess ; 
' let anyone come forward that likes, I am quite prepared 
to meet him.' 

At the time appointed for the race the whole place 
was crowded with people anxious to see the contest, and, 
punctual to the moment, < Juick-as-Thought, and Canetella 
dressed in a short skirt anc] very lightly shod, appeared at 
the starting-point. 

Then a silver trumpet sounded, and the two rivals 
started on their race, looking for all the world like a 
greyhound chasing a hare. 

But Quick-as-Thought, true to his name, outran the 
princess, and when the goal was reached the people 
all clapped their hands and shouted, ' Long live the 
stranger ! ' 

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THE SIMPLETON 315 

Canetella was much depressed by her defeat; but, as 
the race had to be run a second time, she determined 
she would not be beaten again. Accordingly she went 
home and sent Quick-as-Thought a magic ring, which 
prevented the person who wore it, not only from running, 
but even from walking, and begged that he would wear it 
for her sake. 

Early next morning the crowd assembled on the race- 
course, and Canetella find Quick-as-Thought began their 
trial afresh. The princess ran as quickly as ever, but poor 
Quick-as-Thought was like an overloaded donkey, and 
could not go a step. 

Then Ilit-the-Point, who had heard all about the 
princess's deception from Ilare's-ear, when he saw the 
danger his friend was in, seized his bow and arrow and 
shot the stone out of the ring Quick-as-Thought was 
wearing. In a moment the youth's legs became free 
again, and in five bounds he had overtaken Canetella and 
won the race. 

The king was much disgusted when he saw that he 
must acknowledge Moscione as his future son-in-law, and 
summoned the wise men of his court to ask if there was 
no way out of the difficulty. The council at once decided 
that Canetella was far too dainty a morsel for the mouth 
of such a travelling tinker, and advised the king to offer 
Moscione a present of gold, which no doubt a beggar like 
him would prefer to all the wives in the world. 

The king was delighted at this suggestion, and calling 
Moscione before him, he asked him what sum of money he 
would take instead of his promised bride. 

Moscione first consulted with his friends, and then 
answered : 4 I demand as much gold and precious stones 
as my followers can carry away.' 

The king thought he was being let off very easily, and 
produced coffers of gold, sacks of silver, and chests of 
precious stones ; but the more Strong-Back was loaded 
with the treasure the straighter he stood. 

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31G THE SIMP LET OX 

At last the treasury was quite exhausted, and the king 
had to send his courtiers to his subjects to collect all the 
gold and silver they possessed. But nothing was of any 
avail, and Strong-Back only asked for more. 

When the king's counsellors saw the unexpected 
result of their advice, they said it would be more than 
foolish to let some strolling thieves take so much treasure 
out of the country, and urged the king to send a troop 
of soldiers after them, to recover the gold and precious 
stones. 

So the king sent a body of armed men on foot and 
horse, to take back the treasure Strong-Back was carrying 
away with him. 

But Ilare's-ear, who had heard what the counsellors 
had advised the king, told his companions just as the 
dust of their pursuers was visible on the horizon. 

No sooner had Blow-Blast taken in their danger than 
he raised such a mighty wind that all the king's army 
was blown down like so many nine-pins, and as they were 
quite unable to get up again, Moscione and his com- 
panions proceeded on their way without further let or 
hindrance. 

As soon as they reached his home, Moscione divided 
his spoil with his companions, at which they were much 
delighted. He, himself, stayed with his father, who was 
obliged at last to acknowledge that his son was not quite 
such a fool as he looked. 

[From the Italian, Kletke.~\ 



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317 



TEE STREET MUSICIANS 

A man once possessed a donkey which had served him 
faithfully for many years, but at last the poor beast grew 
old and feeble, and every day his work became more of a 
burden. As he was no longer of any use, his master 
made up his mind to shoot him ; but when the donkey 
learnt the fate that was in store for him, he determined 
not to die, but to run away to the nearest town and there 
to become a street musician. 

AVhen he had trotted along for some distance he came 
upon a greyhound lying on the road, and panting for 
dear life. ' Well, brother,' said the donkey, 'what's the 
matter with you? You look rather tired.' 

c So I am,' replied the dog, ' but because I am getting 
old and am growing weaker every day, and cannot go out 
hunting any longer, my master wanted to poison me; 
and, as life is still sweet, I have taken leave of him. But 
how I am to earn my own livelihood I have n't a notion.' 

MVell,' said the donkey, 'I am on my way to the 
nearest big town, where I mean to become a street 
musician. Why don't you take up music as a profession 
and come along with me? I '11 play the flute and you can 
play the kettle-drum.' 

The greyhound was quite pleased at the idea, and 
the two set off together. AVhen they had gone a short 
distance they met a cat with a face as long as three rainy 
days. ' Now, what has happened to upset your happiness, 
friend puss?' inquired the donkey. 

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318 THE STREET MUSICIANS 

i It 's impossible to look cheerful when one feels 
depressed/ answered the eat. 'I am well up in years 
now, and have lost most of my teeth ; consequently I 
prefer sitting in front of the fire to catching mice, and so 
my old mistress wanted to drown me. I have no wish 
to die yet, so I ran away from her; but good advice is 
expensive, and I don't know where I am to go to, or what 
I am to do.' 

c Come to the nearest big town with us/ said the 
donkey, ' and try your fortune as a street musician. I 
know what sweet music you make at night, so you are 
sure to be a success. ' 

The cat was delighted with the donkey's proposal, 
and they all continued their journey together. In a short 
time they came to the courtyard of an inn, where they 
found a cock crowing lustily. ' What in the world is the 
matter with you?' asked the donkey. 'The noise you are 
making is enough to break the drums of our ears.' 

4 1 am only prophesying good weather/ said the cock; 
' for to-morrow is a feast day, and just because it is a 
holiday and a number of people are expected at the inn, 
the landlady has given orders for m} T neck to be wrung 
to-night, so that 1 may be made into soup for to-morrow's 
dinner.' 

'I'll tell you what, redcap,' said the donkey; 'you 
had much better come with us to the nearest town. You 
have got a good voice, and eould join a street band we 
are getting up.' The coek was much pleased with the 
idea, and the party proceeded on their wa} T . 

But the nearest big town was a long way off, and it 
took them more than a day to reach it. In the evening 
they came to a wood, and they made up their minds to 
go no further, but to spend the night there. The donkey 
and the greyhound lay down under a big tree, and the 
cat and the cock got up into the branches, the cock ihying 
right up to the topmost twig, where he thought he would 
be safe from all danger. Before he went to sleep he 

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THE STREET MUSICIANS 319 

looked round the four points of the compass, and saw a 
little spark burning in the distance. He called out to his 
companions that lie was sure there must be a house not 
far off, for he could see a light shining. 

When he heard this, the donkey said at once : ' Then 
we must get up, and go and look for the house, for this is 
very poor shelter.' And the greyhound added : ' Yes ; I 
feel I 'd be all the better for a few bones and a scrap or 
two of meat.' 

80 they set out for the spot where the light was to 
be seen shining faintly in the distance, but the nearer 
they approached it the brighter it grew, till at last they 
came to a brilliantly lighted house. The donkey being 
the biggest of the party, went to the window and looked 
in. 

' Well, greyhead, what do you see? ' asked the cock. 

4 1 see a well-covered table,' replied the donkey, 4 with 
excellent food and drink, and several robbers are sitting 
round it, enjoying themselves highly.' 

4 1 wish we were doing the same,' said the cock. 

i So do I,' answered the donkey. ' Can't we think of 
some plan for turning out the robbers, and taking posses- 
sion of the house ourselves? ' 

So they consulted together what they were to do, and 
at last they arranged that the donkey should stand at the 
window with his fore-feet on the sill, that the greyhound 
should get on his back, the cat on the dog's shoulder, and 
the cock on the cat's head. When they had grouped 
themselves in this way, at a given signal, they all began 
their different forms of music. The donkey brayed, the 
greyhound barked, the cat iniawed, and the cock crew. 
Then they all scrambled through the window into the 
room, breaking the glass into a thousand pieces as they 
did so. 

The robbers were all startled by the dreadful noise, 
and thinking that some evil spirits at the least were 
entering the house, they rushed out into the wood, their 

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320 THE STREET MUSICIANS 

hair standing on end with terror. The four companions, 
delighted with the success of their trick, sat down at the 
table, and ate and drank all the food and wine that the 
robbers had left behind them. 

When they had finished their meal they put out the 
lights, and each animal chose a suitable sleeping-place. 
The donkey lay down in the courtyard* outside the house, 
the dog behind the door, the cat in front of the lire, and 
the cock flew up on to a high shelf, and, as they were all 
tired after their long day, they soon went to sleep. 

Shortly after midnight, when the robbers saw that 
no light was burning in the house and that all seemed 
quiet, the captain of the band said : 4 We were fools to let 
ourselves be so easily frightened awa} 7 ; ' and, turning to 
one of his men, he ordered him to go and see if all was 
safe. 

The man found everything in silence and darkness, 
and going into the kitchen he thought he had better strike 
a light. He took a match, and mistaking the fiery eyes 
of the cat for two glowing coals, he tried to light his 
match with them. But the cat didn't see the joke, 
and sprang at his face, spitting and scratching him in 
tha most vigorous manner. The man was terrified out 
of his life, and tried to run out by the back door ; but he 
stumbled over the greyhound, which bit him in the leg. 
Yelling with pain he ran across the courtyard only to 
receive a kick from the donkey's hind leg as he passed 
him. In the meantime the cock had been roused from his 
slumbers, and feeling very cheerful he called out, from the 
shelf where he was perched, ' Kikeriki ! ' 

Then the robber hastened back to his captain and 
said : 4 Sir, there is a dreadful witch in the house, who 
spat at me and scratched my face with her long fingers; 
and before the door there stands a man with a long 
knife, who cut my leg severely. In the courtyard out- 
side lies a black monster, who fell upon me with a huge 
wooden club; and that is not all, for, sitting on the roof, 

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THE STREET MUSICIANS 321 

is a judge, who called out: u Bring the rascal to me." So 
I fled for dear life.' 

After this the robbers dared not venture into the 
house again, and they abandoned it for ever. Bat the 
four street musicians were so delighted with their 
lodgings that they determined to take up their abode in 
the robbers' house, and, for all I know to the contrary, 
they may be living there to this day. 

[From the German, Kletlce.'] 



21 



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THE TWIN BROTHERS 

Once there was a fisherman who had plenty of money 
but no children. One day an old woman came to his 
wife and said : ' What use is all your prosperity to you 
when you have no children?' 

' It is God's will,' answered the fisherman's wife. 

' Nay, my child, it is not God's will, but the fault 
of your husband ; for if he would but catch the little gold- 
fish you would surely have children. To-night, when he 
comes home, tell him he must go back and catch the little 
fish. He must then cut it in six pieces — one of these you 
must eat, and your husband the second, and soon after 
you will have two children. The third piece you must give 
to the dog, and she will have two puppies. The fourth 
piece give to the mare, and she will have two foals. The 
fifth piece bury on the right of the house door, and the 
sixth on the left, and two cypress trees will spring up 
there.' 

When the fisherman came home at evening his 
wife told him all that the old woman had advised, and 
he promised to bring home the little gold-fish. Next 
morning, therefore, he went very early to the water, 
and caught the little fish. Then they did as the old 
woman had ordered, and in due time the fisherman's 
wife had two sons, so like each other that no one could 
tell the difference. The dog had two puppies exactly alike, 
the mare had two foals, and on each side of the front door 
there sprang up two c} T press trees precisely similar. 

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THE TWIN BROTHERS 323 

When the two boys were grown up, they were not 
content to remain at home, though they had wealth 
in plenty; but they wished to go out into the world, 
and make a name for themselves. Their father would 
not allow them both to go at once, as they were 
the only children he had. He said : 4 First one shall 
travel, and wheu he is come back then the other may 
go-' 

So the one took his horse and his clog, and went, 
saying to his brother : ' So long as the cypress trees are 
green, that is a sign that I am alive and well; but if one 
begins to wither, then make haste and come to me.' So 
he went forth into the world. 

One day he stopped at the house of an old woman, and 
as at evening he sat before the door, he perceived in 
front of him a castle standing on a hill. He asked the old 
woman to whom it belonged, and her answer was: 'My 
son, it is the castle of the Fairest in the Land ! J 

' And I am come here to woo her! ' 

c That, my son, many have sought to do, and have 
lost their lives in the attempt; for she has cut off their 
heads and stuck them on the post you see standing 
there.' 

k And the same will she do to me, or else I shall be 
victor, for to-morrow I go there to court her.' 

Then he took his zither and played upon it so 
beautifully that no one in all that land had ever heard 
the like, and the princess herself came to the window to 
listen. 

The next morning the Fairest in the Land sent for the 
old woman and asked her, ' Who is it that lives with you, 
and plays the zither so well? ' 

'It is a stranger, princess, who arrived yesterday 
evening,' answered the old woman. 

And the princess then commanded that the stranger 
should be brought to her. 

When he appeared before the princess she questioned 

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324 THE TWIN BROTHERS 

him about bis home and his family, and about this and 
that; and confessed at length that his zither-playing gave 
her great pleasure, and that she would take him for 
her husband. The stranger replied that it was with that 
intent he had come. 

The princess then said: 'You must now go to my 
father, and tell him you desire to have, me to wife, and 
when he has put the three problems before you, then 
come back and tell me.' 

The stranger then went straight to the king, and told 
him that he wished to wed his daughter. 

And the king answered : ' I shall be well pleased, 
provided you can do what I impose upon you ; if not 
you will lose your head. Now, listen; out there on 
the ground, there lies a thick log, which measures 
more than two fathoms; if you can cleave it in two 
with one stroke of your sword, I will give you my 
daughter to wife. If you fail, then it will cost you your 
head.' 

Then the stranger withdrew, and returned to the house 
of the old woman sore distressed, for he could believe 
nothing but that next day he must atone to the king 
with his head. And so full was he of the idea of how to 
set about cleaving the log that he forgot even his zither. 

In the evening came the princess to the window to 
listen to his playing, and behold all was still. Then she 
called to him : 4 Why are you so cast down this evening, 
that you do not play on 3 T our zither?' 

And he told her his trouble. 

]>ut she laughed at it, and called to him: 'And you 
grieve over that? Bring quickly 3'onr zither, and play 
something for my amusement, and early to-morrow come 
to me.' 

Then the stranger took his zither and played the 
whole evening for the amusement of the princess. 

Next morning she took a hair from her locks and gave 
it to him, saying: 'Take this hair, and wind it round 

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THE TWIN BROTHERS 325 

your sword, then 3-011 will be able to cleave the log in 
two.' 

Then the stranger went forth, and with one blow cleft 
the log in two. 

But the king said : ' I will impose another task upon 
you, before you can wed my daughter.' 

4 Speak on,' said the stranger. 

4 Listen, then,' answered the king; ' you must mount 
a horse and ride three miles at full gallop, holding in each 
hand a goblet full of water. If you spill no drop then 1 
shall give you my daughter to wife, but should you not 
succeed then I will take your life.' 

Then the stranger returned to the house of the old 
woman, and again he was so troubled as to forget his 
zither. 

In the evening the princess came to the window as 
before to listen to the music, but again all was still ; and 
she called to him; ' What is the matter that you do not 
play on your zither?' 

Then he related all that the king had ordered him to 
do, and the princess answered: l Do not let } 7 ourself be 
disturbed, only play now, and come to me to-morrow 
morning.' 

Then next morning he went to her, and she gave him 
her ring, saying : ' Throw this ring into the water and it 
will immediately freeze, so that you will not spill any.' 

The stranger did as the princess bade him, and car- 
ried the water all the way. 

Then the king said : k Now I will give you a third task, 
and this shall be the last. 1 have a negro who will fight 
with you to-morrow, and if you are the conqueror you 
shall wed my daughter.' 

The stranger returned, full of joy, to the house of 
the old woman, and that evening was so merry that the 
princess called to him : ' You seem very cheerful this even- 
ing ; what has my father told you that makes you so glad ? ' 

lie answered: 'Your father has told me that to- 

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32G THE TWIN BROTHERS 

morrow I must fight with his negro. He is only another 
man like myself, and I hope to subdue him, and to gain 
the contest.' 

But the princess answered : 4 This is the hardest of all. 
I myself am the black man, for I swallow a drink that 
changes me into a negro of unconquerable strength. Go 
to-morrow morning to the market, buy twelve buffalo 
hides and wrap them round your horse; fasten this cloth 
round you, and when I am let loose upon you to-morrow 
show it to me, that I may hold myself back and may not 
kill you. Then when you fight me you must try to 
hit my horse between the eyes, for when you have killed 
it you have conquered me.' 

Next morning, therefore, he went to the market and 
bought the twelve buffalo hides which he wrapped round 
his horse. Then he began to fight with the black man, 
and when the combat had already lasted a long time, and 
eleven hides were torn, then the stranger hit the negro's 
horse between the eyes, so that it fell dead, and the black 
man was defeated. 

Then said the king : ' Because you have solved the 
three problems I take you for my son-in-law.' 

But the stranger answered : 4 1 have some business 
to conclude first; in fourteen days I will return and bring 
the bride home.' 

So he arose and went into another country, where 
he came to a great town, and alighted at the house of an 
old woman. AVTien he had had supper he begged of her 
some water to drink, but she answered: 4 My son, I have 
no water; a giant lias taken possession of the spring, and 
only lets us draw from it once a year, when we bring him 
a maiden. He eats her up, and then he lets us draw 
water ; just now it is the lot of the king's daughter, and 
to-morrow she will be led forth.' 

The next day accordingly the princess was led forth 

to the spring, and bound there with a golden chain. 

After that all the people went away and she was left alone. 
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THE TWIN BROTHERS 327 

When they had gone the stranger went to the maiden 
and asked her what ailed her that she lamented so much, 
and she answered that the reason was because the giant 
would come and eat her up. And the stranger promised 
that he would set her free if she would take him for her 
husband, and the princess joyfully consented. 

When the giant appeared the stranger set his dog at 
him, and it took him by the throat and throttled him till 
he died ; so the princess was set free. 

Now when the king heard of it he gladly consented to 
the marriage, and the wedding took place with great 
rejoicings. The young bridegroom abode in the palace 
one hundred and one weeks. Then he began to find it too 
dull, and he desired to go out hunting. The king would 
fain have prevented it, but in this he could not succeed. 
Then he begged his son-in-law at least to take sufficient 
escort with him, but this, too, the young man evaded, and 
took only his horse and his dog. 

He had ridden already a long way, when he saw in 
the distance a hut, and rode straight towards it in order 
to get some water to drink. There he found an old 
woman from whom he begged the w r ater. She answered 
that first he should allow her to beat his dog with her 
little wand, that it might not bite her while she fetched 
the water. The hunter consented ; and as soon as she 
had touched the dog with her wand it immediately turned 
to stone. Thereupon she touched the hunter and also his 
horse, and both turned to stone. As soon as that had 
happened, the cypress trees in front of his father's house 
began to wither. And when the other brother saw this, 
he immediately set out in search of his twin. He came 
first to the town where his brother had slain the giant, 
and there fate led him to the same old woman where his 
brother had lodged. When she saw him she took him 
for his twin brother, and said to him: t Do not take it 
amiss of me, my son, that I did not come to wish you 
joy on your marriagj^y^^^ing's daughter.' 



328 THE TWIN BROTHERS 

The stranger perceived what mistake she had made, 
but only said : ' That does not matter, old woman,' and 
rode on, without further speech, to the king's palace, 
where the king and the princess both took him for his 
twin brother, and called out : * Why have you tarried so 
long away? We thought something evil had befallen you.' 

When night came and he slept with the princess, who 
still believed him to be her husband, he laid his sword 
between them, and when morning came he rose early and 
went out to hunt. Fate led him by the same way which 
his brother had taken, and from a distance he saw him 
and knew that he was turned to stone. Then he entered 
the hut and ordered the old woman to disenchant 
his brother. But she answered: 'Let me first touch 
your dog with my wand, and then I will free your 
brother.' 

He ordered the dog, however, to take hold of her, and 
bite her up to the knee, till she cried out: 'Tell your 
dog to let me go and I will set your brother free ! ' 

But he only answered : L Tell me the magic words 
that ] may disenchant him myself; ' and as she would not 
he ordered his dog to bite her up to the hip. 

Then the old woman cried out: 4 I have two wands, 
with the green one I turn to stone, and with the red one 
I bring to life again.' 

So the hunter took the red wand and disenchanted 
his brother, also his brother's horse, and his dog, and 
ordered his own dog to eat the old woman up altogether. 

While the brothers went on their way back to the 
castle of the king, the one brother related to the other 
how the cypress tree had all at once dried up and 
withered, how he had immediately set out in search of 
his twin, and how he had come to the castle of his father- 
in-law, and had claimed the princess as his wife. But 
the other brother became furious on hearing this, and 
smote him over the forehead till he died, and returned 
alone to the house of his father-in-law. 

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THE TWIN BROTHERS 331 

When night came and he was in bed the princess 
asked him : ' What was the matter with you last night, 
that you never spoke a word to me?' 

Then he cried out: 'That was not me, but my brother, 
and I have slain him, because he told me by the way 
that he had claimed you for his wife!' 

4 Do you know the place where you slew him?' asked 
the princess, ' and can you find the body? ' 

' 1 know the place exactly.' 

' Then to-morrow we shall ride thither,' said the 
princess. 

Next morning accordingly they set out together, and 
when they had come to the place, the princess drew forth 
a small bottle that she had brought with her, and sprin- 
kled the body with some drops of the water so that im- 
mediately he became alive again. 

When he stood up, his brother said to him : ' Forgive 
me, dear brother, that I slew you in my anger.' Then 
they embraced and went together to the Fairest in the 
Land, whom the unmarried brother took to wife. 

Then the brothers brought their parents to live with 
them, and all dwelt together in joy and happiness. 



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CANNETELLA 

TnERE was once upon a time a king who reigned over a 
country called fc Bello Puojo.' He was very rich and 
powerful, and had everything in the world he could desire 
except a child. But at last, after he had been married for 
many years, and was quite an old man, his wife Renzolla 
presented him with a line daughter, whom they called 
Cannetella. 

She grew up into a beautiful girl, and was as tall and 
straight as a young fir-tree. AVhen she was eighteen 
years old her father called her to him and said : 4 You are 
of an age now, my daughter, to many and settle down ; 
but as I love } T ou more than anything else in the world, 
and desire nothing but your happiness, I am determined 
to leave the choice of a husband to yourself. Choose a 
man after your own heart, and you are sure to satisfy me/ 
Cannetella thanked her father very much for his kindness 
and consideration, but told him that she had not the 
slightest wish to marry, and was quite determined to 
remain single. 

The king, who felt himself growing old and feeble, and 
longed to see an heir to the throne before he died, was 
very unhappy at her words, and begged her earnestly not 
to disappoint him. 

"When Cannetella saw that the king had set his heart 
on her marriage, she said : ' Very well, dear father, I will 
marry to please you, for I do not wish to appear ungrate- 
ful for all your love and kindness ; but you must find me a 

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CANNETELLA 333 

husband handsomer, cleverer, and more charming than 
anyone else in the world.' 

The king was overjoyed by her words, and from early 
in the morning till late at night he sat at the window and 
looked carefully at all the passers-by, in the hopes of find- 
ing a son-in-law among them. 

One day, seeing a very good-looking man crossing 
the street, the king called his daughter and said : ' Come 
quickly, dear Cannetella, and look at this man, for I think 
he might suit you as a husband/ 

They called the young man into the palace, and set a 
sumptuous feast before him, with every sort of delicacy 
you can imagine. In the middle of the meal the youth 
let an almond fall out of his mouth, which, however, he 
picked up again very quickly and hid under the table-cloth. 

When the feast was over the stranger went away, and 
the king asked Cannetella : ' Well, what did you think of 
the youth? ' 

i I think he was a clumsy wretch,' replied Cannetella. 
4 Fancy a- man of his age letting an almond fall out of his 
mouth ! ' 

When the king heard her answer he returned to his 
watch at the window, and shortly afterwards a very hand- 
some young man passed by. The king instantly called 
his daughter to come and see what she thought of the new 
comer. 

' Call him in,' said Cannetella, ' that we may see him 
close.' 

Another splendid feast was prepared, and when the 
stranger had eaten and drunk as much as he was able, and 
had taken his departure, the king asked Cannetella how 
she liked him. 

' Not at all,' replied his daughter; ' what could you do 
with a man who requires at least two servants to help 
him on with his cloak, because he is too awkward to put 
it on properly himself?' 

' If that's all you have against him/ said the king, C I 
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334 CAXXETELLA 

see how the land lies. You are determined not to have 
a husband at all ; but marry someone you shall, for I do 
not mean my name and house to die out.' 

4 Well, then, my dear parent,' said Cannetella, ' I 
must tell you at onee that you had better not count upon 
me, for I never mean to marry unless I can find a man 
with a gold head and gold teeth.' 

The king was very angry at rinding his daughter so 
obstinate ; but as he always gave the girl her own way in 
everything, he issued a proclamation to the effect that 
any man with a gold head and gold teeth might come 
forward and claim the princess as his bride, and the 
kingdom of Bello Puojo as a wedding gift. 

Now the king had a deadly enemy called Scioravante, 
who was a very powerful magician. No sooner had this 
man heard of the proclamation than he summoned his 
attendant spirits and commanded them to gild his head 
and teeth. The spirits said, at first, that the task was 
beyond their powers, and suggested that a pair of golden 
horns attached to his forehead would both be easier to 
make and more comfortable to wear; but Scioravante 
would allow no compromise, and insisted on having a head 
and teeth made of the finest gold. When it was fixed on 
his shoulders he went for a stroll in front of the palace. 
And the king, seeing the very man he was in search of, 
called his daughter, and said: * Just look out of the win- 
dow, and you will find exactly what 3-011 want.' 

Then, as Scioravante was hurrying past, the king 
shouted out to him: 'Just stop a minute, brother, and 
don't be in such desperate haste. If you will step in here 
you shall have my daughter for a wife, and I will send 
attendants with her, and as many horses and servants 
as you wish.' 

4 A thousand thanks.' returned Scioravante ; 4 1 shall 
be delighted to many your daughter, but it is quite 
unnecessary to send anyone to accompany her. Give 
me a horse and I will carry off the priucess in front 

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CANNETELLA 337 

of my saddle, and will bring her to my own kingdom, 
where there is no lack of courtiers or servants, or, indeed, 
of anything your daughter can desire.' 

At first the king was very much against Cannetella's 
departing in this fashion ; but finally Seioravante got his 
way, and placing the princess before him on his horse, he 
set out for his own country. 

Towards evening he dismounted, and entering a stable 
he placed Cannetella in the same stall as his horse, and 
said to her: fc Now listen to what T have to say. I am 
going to my home now, and that is a seven years' journey 
from here; you must wait for me in this stable, and 
never move from the spot, or let yourself be seen by a 
living soul. If you disobey my commands, it will be the 
worse for you.' 

The princess answered meekly : u Sir I am your 
servant, and will do exactly as you bid me ; but I should 
like to know what I am to live on till you come back? ' 

* You can take what the horses leave,' was Seio- 
ravante' s reply. 

When the magician had left her Cannetella felt very 
miserable, and bitterly cursed the day she was born. 
She spent all her time weeping and bemoaning the cruel 
fate that had driven her from a palace into a stable, from 
soft, down cushions to a bed of straw, and from the 
dainties of her father's table to the food that the horses 
left. 

She led this wretched life for a few months, and dur- 
ing that time she never saw who fed and watered the 
horses, for it was all done by invisible hands. 

One day, when she was more than usually unhappy, 
she perceived a little crack in the wall, through which 
she could see a beautiful garden, with all manner of 
delicious fruits and flowers growing in it. The sight and 
smell of such delicacies were too much for poor Canne- 
tella, and she said to herself, i I will slip quietly out, and 
pick a few oranges and grapes, and 1 don't care what 

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338 CANNETELLA 

happens. Who is there to tell my husband what I do? 
and even if he should hear of my disobedience, he can- 
not make my life more miserable than it is aire ad } T .' 

So she slipped out and refreshed her poor, starved 
body with the fruit she plucked in the garden. 

But a short time afterwards her husband returned 
unexpectedl} 7 , and one of the horses instantly told him 
that Cannetella had gone into the garden, in his absence, 
and had stolen some oranges and grapes. 

Scioravaute was furious when he heard this, and 
seizing a huge knife from his pocket he threatened to 
kill his wife for her disobedience. But Cannetella threw 
herself at his feet and implored him to spare her life, 
saying that hunger drove even the wolf from the wood. 
At last she succeeded in so far softening her husband's 
heart that he said, w I will forgive you this time, and 
spare your life ; but if } t ou disobey me again, and I hear, 
on my return, that you have as much as moved out of 
the stall, I will certainly kill you. So, beware; for I am 
going away once more, and shall be absent for seven 
3 T ears. , 

With these words he took his departure, and Canne- 
tella burst into a flood of tears, and, wringing her hands, 
she moaned :' Why was I ever born to such a hard fate? 
Oh ! father, how miserable you have made your poor 
daughter! But, why should I blame my father? for I 
have only myself to thank for all m3 T sufferings. I got 
the cursed head of gold, and it has brought all this misery 
on me. I am indeed punished for not doing as my father 
wished ! * 

When a year had gone b} 7 , it chanced, one day, that 
the king's cooper passed the stables where Cannetella 
was kept prisoner. She recognised the man, and called 
him to come in. At first he did not know the poor 
princess, and could not make out who it was that called 
him 1>3 T name. But when he heard Cannetella's tale of 
woe, he hid her in a big empty barrel he had with him, 

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CANNETELLA 311 

parti} 7 because he was sorry for the poor girl, and, even 
more, because lie wished to gain the king's favour. 
Then he slung the barrel on the mule's back, and in this 
way the princess was carried to her own home. They 
arrived at the palace about four o'clock in the morning, 
and the cooper knocked loudly at the door. AVhen the 
servants came in haste and saw only the cooper standing 
at the gate, they were very indignant, and scolded him 
soundly for coming at such an hour and waking them all 
out of their sleep. 

The king hearing the noise and the cause of it, sent 
for the cooper, for he felt certain the man must have 
some important business, to have come and disturbed the 
whole palace at such an early hour. 

The cooper asked permission to unload his mule, and 
Cannetella crept out of the barrel. At first the king 
refused to believe that it was really his daughter, for she 
had changed so terribly in a few years, and had grown so 
thin and pale, that it was pitiful to see her. At last the 
princess showed her father a mole she had on her right 
arm, and then he saw that the poor girl was indeed his 
long-lost Cannetella. He kissed her a thousand times, 
and instantly had the choicest food and drink set before 
her. 

After she had satisfied her hunger, the king said to 
her: 'Who would have thought, my dear daughter, to 
have found you in such a state? What, may I ask, lias 
brought you to this pass?' 

Cannetella replied : ' That wicked man with the gold 
head and teeth treated me worse than a dog, and many a 
time, since I left you, have I longed to die. But I 
could n't tell you all that I have suffered, for you would 
never believe me. It is enough that I am once more 
with you, and I shall never leave you again, for I would 
rather be a slave in } T our house than queen in any 
other.' 

In the meantime Scioravante had returned to the 
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312 CA NNETELLA 

stables, and one of the horses told him that Cannetella 
had been taken away by a cooper in a barrel. 

When the wicked magician heard this he was beside 
himself with rage, and, hastening to the kingdom of Bello 
Puojo, he went straight to an old woman who lived 
exactly opposite the royal palace, and said to her: 'If 
you will let me see the king's daughter', I will give you 
whatever reward you like to ask for.' 

The woman demanded a hundred ducats of gold, and 
Scioravante counted them out of his purse and gave them 
to her without a murmur. Then the old woman led him 
to the roof of the house, where he could see Cannetella 
combing out her long hair in a room in the top story 
of the palace. 

The princess happened to look out of the window, and 
when she saw her husband gazing at her, she got such a 
fright that she flew downstairs to the king, and said : 
' My lord and father, unless you shut me up instantly in a 
room with seven iron doors, I am lost.' 

' If that's all,' said the king, ' it shall be done at once/ 
And he gave orders for the doors to be closed on the 
spot. 

When Scioravante saw this he returned to the old 
woman, and said: ' I will give you whatever you like if 
you will go into the palace, hide under the princess's bed, 
and slip this little piece of paper beneath her pillow, 
saying, as you do so: " May everyone in the palace, 
except the princess, fall into a sound sleep." ' 

The old woman demanded another hundred golden 
ducats, and then proceeded to carry out the magician's 
wishes. No sooner had she slipped the piece of paper 
under Cannetella's pillow, than all the people in the 
palace fell fast asleep, and only the princess remained 
awake. 

Then Scioravante hurried to the seven doors and 
opened them one after the other. Cannetella screamed 
with terror when she saw her husband, but no one came 

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CANXETELLA 343 

to her help, for all in the palace lay as if they were 
dead. The magician seized her in the bed on which 
she lay, and was going to carry her off with him, when 
the little piece of paper which the old woman had placed 
under her pillow fell on the floor. 

In an instant all the people in the palace woke 
up, and as Cannetella was still screaming for help, they 
rushed to her rescue. They seized Scioravante and put 
him to death ; so he was caught in the trap which he 
had laid for the princess — and, as is so often the case in 
this world, the biter himself was bit. 



[From the Italian, Klethe.] 



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344 



THE OGRE 



There lived, once upon a time, in the land of Marigliano, 
a poor woman called Masella, who had six pretty 
daughters, all as upright as young fir-trees, and an only 
son called Antonio, who was so simple as to be almost 
an idiot. Hardly a day passed without his mother 
saying to him ; ' What are you doing, you useless 
creature? If you were n't too stupid to look after your- 
self, 1 would order you to leave the house and never to let 
me see your face again/ 

Every day the youth committed some fresh piece of 
folly, till at last Masella, losing all patience, gave him a 
good beating, which so startled Antonio that he took to 
his heels and never stopped running till it was dark and 
the stars were shining in the heavens. He wandered on 
for some time, not knowing where to go, and at last he 
came to a cave, at the mouth of which sat an ogre, uglier 
than anything you can conceive. 

He had a huge head and wrinkled brow — eyebrows 
that met, squinting eyes, a flat broad nose, and a great 
gush of a mouth from which two huge tusks stuck out. 
His skin was hairy, his arms enormous, his legs like 
sword blades, and his feet as flat as ducks'. In short, 
he was the most hideous and laughable object in the 
world . 

But Antonio, who, with all his faults, was no coward, 
and was moreover a very civil-spoken lad, took off his hat, 
and said: 'Good-day, sir; 1 hope you are pretty well. 

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THE OGEE 



345 



Could you kindly tell me how far it is from here to the 
place where I wish to go?' 




of.TOE-OQJfoK, 



When the ogre heard this extraordinary question lie 
burst out laughing, and as he liked the youth's polite 
manners he said to. him:, * "Will you enter my service? ' 

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346 THE OGRE 

' What wages do you give? * replied Antonio. 

4 If you serve ine faithfully,' returned the ogre, ' I '11 
be bound you'll get enough wages to satisfy you.' 

So the bargain was struck, and Antonio agreed to 
become the ogre's servant. He was very well treated, 
in every way, and he had little or no work to do, with 
the result that in a few days he became as fat as a 
quail, as round as a barrel, as red as a lobster, and as 
impudent as a bantam-cock. 

But, after two years, the lad got weary of this idle 
life, and longed desperately to visit his home again. 
The ogre, who could see into his heart and knew how 
unhappy he was, said to him one day: 4 ]\Jy dear 
Antonio, I know how much } t ou long to see your 
mother and sisters again, and because 1 love you as the 
apple of my eye, I am willing to allow you to go home 
for a visit. Therefore, take this donkey, so that you may 
not have to go on foot ; but see that you never say 
4 ' Bricklebrit " to him, for if you do you'll be sure to 
regret it.' 

Antonio took the beast without as much as saying 
thank you, and jumping on its back he rode away in 
great haste; but he had n't gone two hundred yards when 
he dismounted and called out ' Bricklebrit.' 

No sooner had he pronounced the word than the 
donkey opened its mouth and poured forth rubies, 
emeralds, diamonds and pearls, as big as walnuts. 

Antonio gazed in amazement at the sight of such 
wealth, and joyfully filling a huge sack with the precious 
stones, he mounted the donkey again and rode on 
till he came to an inn. Here he got down, and going 
straight to the landlord, he said to him: ' ]\Iy good 
man, I must ask you to stable this donkey for me. 
Be sure you give the poor beast plenty of oats and hay, 
but beware of saying the word ''Bricklebrit" to him, 
for if you do I can promise you will regret it. Take this 
heavy sack, too, and put it carefully away for me.' 

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THE OGEE 347 

The landlord, who was no fool, on receiving this 
strange warning, and seeing the precious stones sparkling 
through the canvas of the sack, was most anxious to see 
what would happen if he used the forbidden word. So he 
gave Antonio an excellent dinner, with a bottle of fine old 
wine, and prepared a comfortable bed for him. As soon 
as he saw the poor simpleton close his eyes and had 
heard his lusty snores, he hurried to the stables and said 
to the donkey ; Bricklebrit,' and the animal as usual 
poured out any number of precious stones. 

When the landlord saw all these treasures he longed 
to get possession of so valuable an animal, and deter- 
mined to steal the donkey from his foolish guest. As 
soon as it was light next morning Antonio awoke, and 
having rubbed his eyes and stretched himself about a 
hundred times he called the landlord and said to him : 
4 Come here, my friend, and produce your bill, for short 
reckonings make long friends. ' 

When Antonio had paid his account he went to the 
stables and took out his donkey, as he thought, and 
fastening a sack of gravel, which the landlord had sub- 
stituted for his precious stones, on the creature's back, 
he set out for his home. 

No sooner had he arrived there than he called out : 
' Mother, come quickly, and bring table-cloths and sheets 
with you, and spread them out on the ground, and you 
will soon see what wonderful treasures I have brought 
you.' 

His mother hurried into the house, and opening the 
linen-chest where she kept her daughters' wedding outfits, 
she took out table-cloths and sheets made of the finest 
linen, and spread them flat and smooth on the ground. 
Antonio placed the donkey on them, and called out 
4 Bricklebrit.' But this time he met with no success, for 
the donkey took no more notice of the magic word than 
he would have done if a lyre had been twanged in his ear. 
Two, three, and four times did Antonio pronounce 
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348 THE OGRE 

i Bricklebrit,' bat all in vain, and he might as well have 
spoken to the wind. 

Disgusted and furious with the poor creature, he 
seized a thick stick and began to beat it so hard that he 
nearly broke every bone in its body. The miserable 
donkey was so distracted at such treatment that, far 
from pouring out precious stones, it only tore and dirtied 
all the fine linen. 

When poor Masella saw her table-cloths and sheets 
being destroyed, and that instead of becoming rich she 
had only been made a fool of, she seized another stick 
and belaboured Antonio so unmercifully with it, that he 
Med before her, and never stopped till he reached the 
ogre's cave. 

When his master saw the lad returning in such a 
sorry plight, he understood at once what had happened 
to him, and making no bones about the matter, he told 
Antonio what a fool he had been to allow himself to be 
so imposed upon by the landlord, and to let a worth- 
less animal be palmed off on him instead of his magic 
donkey. 

Antonio listened humbly to the ogre's words, and 
vowed solemnly that he would never act so foolishly 
again. And so a year passed, and once more Antonio 
was overcome by a fit of home-sickness, and felt a great 
longing to see his own people again. 

Now the ogre, although he was so hideous to look 
upon, had a very kind heart, and when he saw how 
restless and unhappy Antonio was, he at once gave him 
leave to go home on a visit. At parting he gave him a 
beautiful table-cloth, and said : * Give this to your mother ; 
but see that you don't lose it as you lost the donkey, and 
till you are safely in your' own house beware of saying 
kt Table-cloth, open," and Lk Table-cloth, shut." If you 
do, the misfortune be on your own head, for 1 have given 
you fair warning.' 

Antonio set out on his journey, but hardly had he got 

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THE OGRE 349 

out of sight of the cave than he laid the table-cloth on the 
ground and said, 'Table-cloth, open.' In an instant the 
table-cloth unfolded itself and disclosed a whole mass of 
precious stones and other treasures. 

When Antouio perceived this he said, < Table-cloth, 
shut/ and continued his journe} 7 . He came to the same 
inn again, and calling the landlord to him, he told him to 
put the table-cloth carefully away, and whatever he did 
not to say 'Table-cloth, open,' or 'Table-cloth, shut/ to it. 

The landlord, who was a regular rogue, answered, 
' Just leave it to me, I will look after it as if it were my 
own.' 

After he had given Antonio plenty to eat and drink, 
and had provided him with a comfortable bed, he went 
straight to the table-cloth and said, "Table-cloth, open.' 
It opened at once, and displayed such costly treasures 
that the landlord made up his mind on the spot to steal 
it. 

When Antonio awoke next morning, the host handed 
him over a table-cloth exactly like his own, and carrying 
it carefully over his arm, the foolish youth went straight 
to his mother's house, and said : ' Now we shall be rich 
beyond the dreams of avarice, and need never go about in 
rags again, or lack the best of food.' 

With these words he spread the table-cloth on the 
ground and said, ' Table-cloth, open.' 

But he might repeat the injunction as often as he 
pleased, it was only waste of breath, for nothing hap- 
pened. When Antonio saw this he turned to his mother 
and said: ' That old scoundrel of a landlord has done me 
once more ; but he will live to repent it, for if I ever 
enter his inn again, I will make him suffer for the loss of 
my donkey and the other treasures he has robbed me 
of.' 

Masella was in such a rage over her fresh disappoint- 
ment that she could not restrain her impatience, and, 
turning on Antonio, she abused him soundly, and told 



350 THE OGEE 

him to get out of her sight at once, for she would never 
acknowledge him as a son of hers again. The poor boy 
was very depressed by her words, and slunk back to his 
master like a dog with his tail between his legs. When 
the ogre saw him, he guessed at once what had happened. 
He gave Antonio a good scolding, and said, ' I don't know 
what prevents me smashing your head in, } 7 ou useless 
ne'er-do-well! You blurt everything out, and your long- 
tongue never ceases wagging for a moment. If you had 
remained silent in the inn this misfortune would never 
have overtaken you, so you have only yourself to blame 
for your present suffering/ 

Antonio listened to his master's words in silence, 
looking for all the world like a whipped dog. When he 
had been three more years in the ogre's serviee he had 
another bad lit of home-sickness, and longed very much 
to see his mother and sisters again. 

So he asked for permission to go home on a visit, and 
it was at once granted to him. Before he set out on his 
journey the ogre presented him with a beautifully carved 
stick and said, fc Take this stick as a remembrance of me ; 
but beware of saying, " Rise up, Stick," and "Lie down, 
Stick," for if you do, 1 can only say I would n't be in your 
shoes for something.' 

Antonio took the stick and said, l Don't be in the least 
alarmed, I 'm not such a fool as you think, and know bet- 
ter than most people what two and two make.' 

1 I'm glad to hear it,' replied the ogre, * but words are 
women, deeds are men. You have heard what 1 said, and 
forewarned is forearmed.' 

This time Antonio thanked his master warmly for all 
his kindness, and started on his homeward journey in 
great spirits ; but he had not gone half a mile when he 
said ' Eise up, Stick.' 

The words were hardly out of his mouth when the 
stick rose and began to rain down blows on poor Antonio's 
back with such lightning-like rapidity that he had hardly 

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THE OGEE 351 

strength to call out, l Lie down, Stick ' ; but as soon as be 
uttered the words the stick lay down, and ceased beating 
his back black and blue. 

Although he had learnt a lesson at some cost to him- 
self, Antonio was full of joy, for he saw a way now of 
revenging himself on the wicked landlord. Once mure 
he arrived at the inn, and was received in the most 
friendly and hospitable manner by his host. Antonio 
greeted him cordially, and said : ' My friend, will you 
kindly take care of this stick for me? But, whatever you 
do, don't say " Rise up, Stick." If you do, you will be 
sorry for it, and you need n't expect any sympathy from 
me.' 

The landlord, thinking he was coming in for a third 
piece of good fortune, gave Antonio an excellent supper ; 
and after he had seen him comfortably to bed, he ran to 
the stick, and calling to his wife to come and see the fun, 
he lost no time in pronouncing the words l Rise up, 
Stick.' 

The moment he spoke the stick jumped up and beat 
the landlord so unmercifully that he and his wife ran 
screaming to Antonio, and, waking him up, pleaded for 
mercy. 

When Antonio saw how successful his trick had been 
he said : 4 I refuse to help you, unless you give me all that 
you have stolen from me, otherwise you will be beaten to 
death.' 

The landlord, who felt himself at death's door alread} T , 
cried out : 4 Take back your property, only- release me 
from this terrible stick ; ' and with these words he ordered 
the donkey, the table-cloth, and other treasures to be 
restored to their rightful owner. 

As soon as Antonio had recovered his belongings he 
said c Stick, lie down,' and it stopped beating the land- 
lord at once. 

Then he took his donkey and table-cloth and arrived 
safely at his home with them. This time the magic 



352 THE OGEE 

words had the desired effect, and the donkey and table- 
cloth provided the family with treasures untold. Antonio 
very soon married off his sister, made his mother rich for 
life, and they all lived happily for ever after. 

[From the Italian, Kletke.] 



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A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 



Oxce upon a time there lived a fairy whose name 
was Dindonette. She was the best creature in the 
world, with the kindest heart; but she had not much 
sense, and was always doing things, to benefit people, 
which generally ended in causing pain and distress to 
everybody concerned. No one knew this better than 
the inhabitants of an island far off in the midst of the 
sea, which, according to the laws of fairyland, she had 
taken under her special protection, thinking day and 
night of what she could do to make the isle the 
pleasantest place in the whole world, as it was the most 
beautiful. 

Now what happened was this : 

As the fairy went about, unseen, from house to house, 
she heard every where children longing for the time when 
they would be 'grown-up,' and able, they thought, to do 
as they liked; and old people talking about the past, and 
sighing to be young again. 

1 Is there no wa} T of satisfying these poor things? ' she 
thought. And then one night an idea occurred to her. 
' Oh, yes, of course ! It has been tried before ; but I will 
manage, better than the rest, with their old Fountain of 
Youth, which, after all, only made people } T oung again. I 
will enchant the spring that bubbles up in the middle of 
the orchard, and the children that drink of it shall at 
once become grown men and women, and the old people 
return to the days of their childhood.' 

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351 A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 

And without stopping to consult one single other 
fairy, who might have given her good advice, off rushed 
Diudonette, to cast her spell over the fountain. 

It was the only spring of fresh water in the island, 
and at dawn was crowded with people of all ages, come 
to drink at its source. Delighted at her plan for making 
them all happy, the fairy hid herself behind a thicket of 
roses, and peeped out whenever footsteps came that Avay. 
It was not long before she had ample proof of the success 
of her enchantments. Almost before her eyes the chil- 
dren put on the size and strength of adults, while the 
old men and women instantly became helpless, tiny 
babies. Indeed, so pleased was she with the result of 
her work, that she could no longer remain hidden, and 
went about telling everybody what she had done, and 
enjoying their gratitude and thanks. 

But after the first outburst of delight at their wishes 
being granted, people began to be a little frightened at the 
rapid effects of the magic water. It was delicious to feel 
yourself at the height of your power and beauty, but you 
would wish to keep so always! Now this was exactly 
what the fairy had been in too much of a hurry to 
arrange, and no sooner had the children become grown 
up, and the men and women become babies, than they 
all rushed on to old age at an appalling rate I The fairy 
only found out her mistake when it was too late to set it 
right. 

AVben the inhabitants of the island saw what had 
befallen them, they were filled with despair, and did 
everything they could think of to escape from such a 
dreadful fate. They dug wells in their places, so that 
they should no longer need to drink from the magic 
spring,- but the sandy soil yielded no water, and the 
rainy season was already past. They stored up the dew 
that fell, and the juice of fruits and of herbs, but all this 
was as a drop in the ocean of their wants. Some threw 
themselves into the sea, trusting that the current might 

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A FAIEY'S BLUNDER 355 

carry them to other shores — they had no boats — and a 
few, still more impatient, put themselves to death on the 
spot. The rest submitted blindly to their destiny. 

Perhaps the worst part of the enchantment was, that 
the change from one age to another was so rapid that the 
person had no time to prepare himself for it. It would 
not have mattered so much if the man who stood up in 
the assembly of the nation, to give his advice as to peace 
or war, had looked like a baby, as long as he spoke 
with the knowledge and sense of a full-grown man. 
But, alas ! with the outward form of an infant, he had 
taken on its helplessness and foolishness, and there was 
no one who could train him to better things. The end 
of it all was, that before a month had passed the popula- 
tion had died out, and the fairy Uindonette, ashamed 
and grieved at the effects of her folly, had left the island 
for ever. 

Many centuries after, the fairy Selnozoura, who had 
fallen into bad health, was ordered by her doctors to make 
the tour of the world twice a week for change of air, and 
in one of these journeys she found herself at Fountain 
Island. Selnozoura never made these trips alone, but always 
took with her two children, of whom she was very food — 
Corniehon, a boy of fourteen, bought in his childhood at a 
slave-market, and Toupette, a few months younger, who had 
been entrusted to the care of the fairy by her guardian, the 
genius Kristopo. Corniehon and Toupette were intended 
by Selnozoura to become husband and wife, as soon as they 
were old enough. Meanwhile, they travelled with her in 
a little vessel, whose speed through the air was just a 
thousand nine hundred and fifty times greater than that 
of the swiftest of our ships. 

Struck with the beauty of the island, Selnozoura ran 
the vessel to ground, and leaving it in the care of the 
dragon which lived in the hold during the voyage, 
stepped on shore with her two companions. Surprised 
at the sight of a Ifffifc^ tfftffi^ft <&** houses 



350 A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 

were absolutely desolate, the fairy resolved to put her 
magic arts in practice to find out the cause. While she 
was thus engaged, Cornichon and Toupette wandered 
away by themselves, and by-and-by arrived at the foun- 
tain, whose bubbling waters looked cool and delicious on 
such a hot day. Scarcely had they each drunk a deep 
draught, when the fairy, who by this time had discovered 
all she wished to know, hastened to the spot. 

' Oh, beware ! beware ! ' she cried, the moment she 
saw them. ' If you drink that deadly poison you will be 
ruined for ever! ' 

4 Poison?' answered Toupette. 'It is the most re- 
freshing water I have ever tasted, and Cornichon will say 
so too! ' 

'Unhappy children, then I am too late! Why did 
you leave me? Listen, and I will tell you what has 
befallen the wretched inhabitants of this island, and what 
will befall you too. The power of fairies is great,' she 
added, when she had finished her story, ' but they cannot 
destroy the work of another fairy. Very shortly you will 
pass into the weakness and silliness of extreme old age, 
and all I can do for you is to make it as easy to you as 
possible, and to preserve you from the death that others 
have suffered, from having no one to look after them. 
But the charm is working already! Cornichon is taller 
and more manly than he was an hour ago, and Toupette 
no longer looks like a little girl.' 

It was true; but this fact did not seem to render the 
young people as miserable as if did Selnozoura. 

' Do not pity us,' said Cornichon. ' If we are fated to 
grow old so soon, let us no longer delay our marriage. 
What matter if avc anticipate our decay, if we Only antici- 
pate our happiness too? ' 

The fairy felt that Cornichon had reason on his side, 
and seeing by a glance at Toupette's face that there was 
no opposition to be feared from her, she answered, 'Let 
it be so, then. But not in this dreadful place. We will 

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A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 357 

return at once to Bagota, and the festivities shall be the 
most brilliant ever seen.' 

They all returned to the vessel, and in a few hours the 
four thousand live hundred miles that lay between the 
island and Uagota were passed. Everyone was surprised 
to see the change which the short absence had made in 
the young people, but as the fairy had promised absolute 
silence about the adventure, they were none the wiser, 
and busied themselves in preparing their dresses for the 
marriage, which was fixed for the next night. 

Early on the following morning the genius Kristopo 
arrived at the Court, on one of the visits he was in the 
habit of paying his ward from time to time. Like the rest, 
he was astonished at the sudden improvement in the 
child. He had always been fond of her, and in a moment 
he fell violently in love. Hastily demanding an audience 
of the fairy, he laid his proposals before her, never doubt- 
ing that she would give her consent to so brilliant a 
match. But Selnozoura refused to listen, and even hinted 
that in his own interest Kristopo had better turn his 
thoughts elsewhere. The genius pretended to agree, but, 
instead, he went straight to Toupette's room, and tlew 
away with her through the window, at the very instant 
that the bridegroom was awaiting her below. 

When the fairy discovered what had happened, she was 
furious, and sent messenger after messenger to the genius 
in his palace at Eatibouf, commanding him to restore 
Toupctte without delay, and threatening to make war in 
case of refusal. 

Kristopo gave no direct answer to the fairy's envoys, 
but kept Toupette closely guarded in a tower, where the 
poor girl used all her powers of persuasion to induce him 
to put off their marriage. All would, however, have been 
unite vain if, in the course of a few days, sorrow, joined 
to the spell of the magic water, had not altered her ap- 
pearance so completely that Kristopo was quite alarmed, 
and declared that she needed amusement and fresh air, 

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358 A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 

and that, as his presence seemed to distress her, she 
should be left her own mistress. But one thing he 
declined to do, and that was to send her back to Bogota. 

In the meantime both sides had been busily collecting 
armies, and Kristopo had given the command of his to a 
famous general, while Selnozoura had placed Coruichon 
at the head of her forces. But before war was actually 
declared, Toupette's parents, who had been summoned by 
the genius, arrived at Ratibouf. They had never seen 
their daughter since they parted from her as a baby, but 
from time to time travellers to Bagota had brought back 
accounts of her beauty. What was their amazement, 
therefore, at finding, instead of a lovely girl, a middle- 
aged woman, handsome indeed, but quite faded — looking, 
in fact, older than themselves. Kristopo, hardly less 
astonished than they were at the sudden change, thought 
that it was a joke on the part of one of his courtiers, who 
had hidden Toupette away, and put this elderly lady in 
her place. Bursting with rage, he sent instantly for all 
the servants and guards of the town, and inquired who 
had the insolence to play him such a trick, and what had 
become of their prisoner. They replied that since 
Toupette had been in their charge she had never left her 
rooms unveiled, and that during her walks in the sur- 
rounding gardens, her food had been brought in and 
placed on her table ; as she preferred to eat alone no one 
had ever seen her face, or knew what she was like. 

The servants were clearly speaking the truth, and 
Kristopo was obliged to believe them. i But,' thought he, 
4 if they have not had a hand in this, it must be the work 
of the fairy,' and in his anger he ordered the army to be 
ready to march. 

On her side, Selnozoura of course knew what the genius 
had to expect, but was deeply offended when she heard of 
the base trick which she was believed to have invented. 
Her first desire was to give battle to Kristopo at once, but 
with great difficulty her ministers induced her to pause, 

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A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 359 

and to send an ambassador to Kristopo to try to arrange 
matters. 

So the Prince Zeprady departed for the court of Rati- 
bonf, and on his way lie met Cornichon, who was en- 
camped with his army just outside the gates of Bagota. 
The Prince showed him the fairy's written order that for 
the present peace must still be kept, and Cornichon, 
filled with longing to see Toupette once more, begged 
to be allowed to accompany Zeprady on his mission to 
Ratibouf. 

By this time the genius's passion for Toupette, which 
had caused all these troubles, had died out, and he 
willingly accepted the terms of peace offered by Zeprady, 
though he informed the prince that he still believed the 
fairy to be guilty of the dreadful change in the girl. To 
this the prince only replied that on that point he had a 
witness who could prove, better than anyone else, if it 
was Toupette or not, and desired that Cornichon should 
be sent for. 

When Toupette was told that she was to see her old 
lover again, her heart leapt with joy; but soon the recol- 
lection came to her of all that had happened, and she re- 
membered that Cornichon would be changed as well as she. 
The moment of their meeting was not all happiness, es- 
pecially on the part of Toupette, who could not forget her 
lost beauty, and the genius, who was present, was at last 
convinced that he had not been deceived, and went out to 
sign the treaty of peace, followed by his attendants. 

4 Ah, Toupette : my dear Toupette ! ' cried Cornichon, 
as soon as they were left alone ; ' now that we are once 
more united, let our past troubles be forgotten.' 

' Our past troubles ! ' answered she, ' and what do 
you call our lost beauty and the dreadful future before us? 
You are looking fifty years older than when I saw you last, 
and I know too well that fate has treated me no better ! ' 

' Ah, do not say that/ replied Cornichon, clasping her 

hand. ' You are different, it is true ; but every age has its 
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3 GO A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 

graces, and surely no woman of sixty was ever handsomer 
than you! If your eyes had been as bright as of yore they 
would have matched badly with your faded skin. The 
wrinkles which T notice on your forehead explain the in- 
creased fulness of your cheeks, and your throat in wither- 
ing is elegant in decay. Thus the harmony shown by 
your features, even as they grow old, is the best proof of 
their former beauty. 

4 Oh, monster,' cried Toupette, bursting into tears, 'is 
that all the comfort you can give me ? ' 

4 But, Toupette/ answered Cornichon,' c you used to 
declare that you did not care for beauty, as long as you 
had my heart.' 

4 Yes, I know,' said she, ' but how can you go on 
caring for a person who is as old and plain as J?' 

4 Toupette, Toupette/ replied Cornichon, 'you are 
only talking nonsense. My heart is as much yours as 
ever it was, and nothing in the world can make any 
difference.' 

At this point of the conversation the Prince Zeprady 
entered the room, with the news that the genius, full of 
regret for his behaviour, had given Cornichon full per- 
mission to depart for Bagota as soon as he liked, and to 
take Toupette with him ; adding that, though he begged 
they would excuse his taking leave of them before they 
went, he hoped, before long, to visit them at Bagota. 

Neither of the lovers slept that night — Cornichon 
from joy at returning home, Toupette from dread of the 
blow to her vanity which awaited her at Bagota. It 
was hopeless for Cornichon to try to console her during 
the journey with the reasons he had given the day before. 
She only grew worse and worse, and when they reached 
the palace went straight to her old apartments, entreat- 
ing the fairy to allow both herself and Cornichon to remain 
concealed, and to see no one. 

For some time after their arrival the fairy was taken 
up with the preparations for the rejoicings which were to 

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A FAIRY* S BLUNDER 3G1 

celebrate the peace, and with the reception of the genius, 
who was determined to do all in his power to regain 
Selnozoura's lost friendship. Cornichon and Toupette 
were therefore left entirely to themselves, and though this 
was only what they wanted, still, they began to feel a 
little neglected. 

At length, one morning, they saw from the windows 
that the fairy and the genius were approaching, in state, 
with all their courtiers in attendance. Toupette instantly 
hid herself in the darkest corner of the room, but Corni- 
chon, forgetting that he was now no longer a boy of four- 
teen, ran to meet them. In so doing he tripped and fell, 
bruising one of his eyes severely. At the sight of her 
lover lying helpless on the floor, Toupette hastened to his 
side ; but her feeble legs gave way under her, and she fell 
almost on top of him, knocking out three of her loosened 
teeth against his forehead. The fairy, who entered the 
room at tills moment, burst into tears, and listened in 
silence to the genius, who hinted that by-and-by every- 
thing would be put right. 

' At the last assembly of the fairies/ he said, i when 
the doings of each fairy were examined and discussed, a 
proposal was made to lessen, as far as possible, the 
mischief caused by Dindonette by enchanting the foun- 
tain. And it was decided that, as she had meant nothing 
but kindness, she should have the power of undoing 
one half of the spell. Of course she might always have 
destroyed the fatal fountain, which would have been best 
of all ; but this she never thought of. Yet, in spite of 
this, her heart is so good, that I am sure that the moment 
she hears that she is wanted she will fly to help. Only, 
before she comes, it is for you, Madam, to make up your 
mind which of the two shall regain their former strength 
and beauty.' 

At these words the fairy's soul sank. Both Cornichon 
and Toupette were equally dear to her, and how could 
she favour one at the cost of the other? As to the 

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3G2 A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 

courtiers, none of the men were able to understand why 
she hesitated a second to declare for Toupette; while the 
ladies were equally strong on the side of Cornichon. 

But, however undecided the fairy might be, it was 
quite different with Cornichon and Toupette. 

4 Ah, my love,' exclaimed Cornichon, ' at length I 
shall be able to give you the best proof of my devotion by 
showing you how I value the beauties of your mind above 
those of your body ! While the most charming women 
of the court will fall victims to my youth and strength, I 
shall think of nothing but how to lay them at your feet, 
and pay heart-felt homage to your age and wrinkles.' 

1 Not so fast,' interrupted Toupette, ' 1 don't see why 
you should have it all. Why do you heap such humilia- 
tions upon me? But I will trust to the justice of the 
fairy, who will not treat me so.' 

Then she entered her own rooms, and refused to leave 
them, in spite of the prayers of Cornichon, who begged 
her to let him explain. 

No one at the court thought or spoke of any other 
subject during the few days before the arrival of Din- 
donette, whom everybody expected to set things right in a 
moment. But, alas! she had no idea herself what Avas 
best to be done, and always adopted the opinion of the 
person she was talking to. At length a thought struck 
her, which seemed the only way of satisfying both parties, 
and she asked the fairy to call together all the court and 
the people to hear her decision. 

1 Happy is he,' she began, ' who can repair the evil he 
has caused, but happier he who has never caused any.' 
As nobody contradicted this remark, she continued : 
' To me it is only allowed to undo one half of the 
mischief I have wrought. I could restore you your youth,' 
she said to Cornichon, ' or your beauty,' turning to Tou- 
pette. 1 1 will do both ; and I will do neither.' 

A murmur of curiosity arose from the crowd, while 
Cornichon and Toupette trembled with astonishment. 

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A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 303 

' No,' went on Dindonette, c never should I have the 
cruelty to leave one of yon to decay, while the other 
enjoys the glory of youth. And as I cannot restore you 
both at once to what you were, one half of each of your 
bodies shall become young again, while the other half 
goes on its way to decay. J will leave it to you to choose 
which half it shall be — if I shall draw a line round the 
waist, or a line straight down the middle of the body.* 

She looked about her proudly, expecting applause 
for her clever idea. But Cornichon and Tonpette were 
shaking with rage and disappointment, and everyone else 
broke into shouts of laughter. In pity for the unhappy 
lovers, Selnozoura came forward. 

c Do you not think,' she said, ' that instead of what 
you propose, it would be better to let them take it in turns 
to enjoy their former youth and beauty for a fixed time? 
1 am sure you could easily manage that.' 

'What an excellent notion !' cried Dindonette. ' Oh, 
yes, of course that is best! Which of you shall I touch 
first?' 

' Touch her,' replied Cornichon, who was always 
ready to give way to Tonpette. ' I know her heart too 
well to fear any change.' 

So the fairy bent forward and touched her with her 
magic ring, and in one instant the old woman was a girl 
again. The whole court wept with joy at the sight, and 
Tonpette ran up to Cornichon, who had fallen down in his 
surprise, promising to pay him long visits, and tell him of 
all her balls and water parties. 

The two fairies went to their own apartments, where 
the genius followed them to take his leave. 

' Oh, dear ! ' suddenly cried Dindonette, breaking in to 
the farewell speech of the genius. ' I quite forgot to fix 
the time when Cornichon should in his turn grow young. 
How stupid of me! And now I fear it is too late, for I 
ought to have declared it before I touched Tonpette with 
therins:. Oh, dear! oh, dear I why did nobody warn me?' 

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304 A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 

' You were so quick,' replied Selnozoura, who bad 
long been aware of the mischief the fairy had again done, 
' and we can only wait now till Cornichon shall have 
reached the utmost limits of his decay, when he will 
drink of the water, and become a baby once more, so that 
Toupette will have to spend her life as a nurse, a wife, and 
a caretaker.' 

After the anxiety of mind and the weakness of body 
to which for so long Toupette had been a prey, it seemed 
as if she could not amuse herself enough, and it was 
seldom indeed that she found time to visit poor Cornichon, 
though she did not cease to be fond of him, or to be kind 
to him. Still, she was perfectly happy without him, and 
this the poor man did not fail to see, almost blind and 
deaf from age though he was. 

But it was left to Kristopo to undo at last the work of 
Dindonette, and give Cornichon back the youth he had 
lost, and this the genius did all the more gladly, as he 
discovered, quite by accident, that Cornichon was in fact 
his son. It was on this plea that he attended the great 
yearly meeting of the fairies, and prayed that, in con- 
sideration of his services to so many of the members, this 
one boon might be granted him. Such a request had never 
before been heard in faiijland, and was objected to by 
some of the older fairies ; but both Kristopo and Selnozoura 
were held in such high honour that the murmurs of dis- 
gust were set aside, and the latest victim to the enchanted 
fountain was pronounced to be free of the spell. All 
that the genius asked in return was that he might 
accompany the fairy back to Bagota, and be present when 
his sou assumed his proper shape. 

They made up their minds they would just tell Tou- 
pette that they had found a husband for her, and give her 
a pleasant surprise at her wedding, which was fixed 
for the following night. She heard the news with 
astonishment, and many pangs for the grief which 
Cornichon would certainly feel at his place being taken 

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A FAIRY'S BLUNDER 365 

by another; but she did not dream of disobeying the 
fairy, and spent the whole day wondering who the 
bridegroom could be. 

At the appointed hour, a large crowd assembled at the 
fairy's palace, which was decorated with the sweetest 
flowers, known only to fairyland. Toupette had taken 
her place, but where was the bridegroom? 

* Fetch Cornichon!' said the fairy to her chamber- 
lain. 

But Toupette interposed: ' Oh, Madam, spare him, I 
entreat you, this bitter pain, and let him remain hidden 
aud in peace.' 

' It is necessary that he should be here,' answered the 
fairy, ' aud he will not regret it.' 

And, as she spoke, Cornichon was led in, smiling with 
the foolishness of extreme old age at the sight of the gay 
crowd. 

4 Bring him here,' commanded the fairy, waving her 
hand towards Toupette, who started back from surprise 
and horror. 

Selnozoura then took the hand of the poor old man, 
and the genius came forward and touched him three 
times with his ring, when Cornichon was transformed 
into a handsome } T oung man. 

' May you live long,' the genius said, ' to enjoy hap- 
piness with your wife, and to love your father.' 

And that was the end of the mischief wrought by the 
fairy Dindonette ! 

[Cabinet de? Fees.'] 



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366 



LONG, DEO AD, AND QUICKEYE 

(BOHEMIAN STORY) 

Once upon a time there lived a king who had an only son 
whom he loved dearly. Now one day the king sent for 
his son and said to him : 

k My dearest child, my hair is grey and I am old, and 
soon I shall feel no more the warmth of the sun, or look 
upon the trees and flowers. Hut before I die I should 
like to see you with a good wife ; therefore marry, my 
son, as speedily as possible.' 

' My father,' replied the prince, ' now and always, I 
ask nothing better than to do your bidding, but I know 
of no daughter-in-law that I could give you.' 

On hearing these words the old king drew from his 
pocket a key of gold, and gave it to his son, saying: 

' Go up the staircase, right up to the top of the 
tower. Look carefully round you, and then come and 
tell me which you like best of all that you see.' 

So the young man went up. He had never before 
been in the tower, and had no idea what it might 
contain. 

The staircase wound round and round and round, till 
the prince was almost giddy, and every now and then he 
caught sight of a large room that opened out from the 
side, liiit he had been told to go to the top, and to the 
top he went. Then he found himself in a hall, which 
had an iron door at one end. This door he unlocked 
with his golden key, and he passed through into a vast 

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LONG, BROAD, AXD QUICKEYE 369 

chamber which had a roof of bine sprinkled with golden 
stars, and a carpet of green silk soft as turf. Twelve 
windows framed in gold let in the light of the sun, and 
on every window was painted the figure of a young 
girl, each more beautiful than the last. While the prince 
gazed at them in surprise, not knowing which he liked 
best, the girls began to lift their eyes and smile at him. 
He waited, expecting them to speak, but no sound 
came. 

Suddenly he noticed that one of the windows was 
covered by a curtain of white silk. 

He lifted it, and saw before him the image of a maiden 
beautiful as the day and sad as the tomb, clothed in a 
white robe, having a girdle of silver and a crown of pearls. 
The prince stood and gazed at her, as if he had been 
turned into stone, but as he looked the sadness which 
was on her face seemed to pass into his heart, and he 
cried out : 

4 This one shall be my wife. This one and no other.' 

As he said the words the young girl blushed and hung 
her head, and all the other figures vanished. 

The young prince went quickly back to his father, and 
told him all he had seen and which wife he had chosen. 
The old man listened to him full of sorrow, and then he 
spoke : 

4 You have done ill, my son, to search out that which 
was hidden, and you are running to meet a great danger. 
This young girl has fallen into the power of a wicked 
sorcerer, who lives in an iron castle. Many young men 
have tried to deliver her, and none have ever come back. 
But what is done is done ! You have given your word, 
and it cannot be broken. Go, dare your fate, and return 
to me safe and sound. ' 

So the prince embraced his father, mounted his horse, 

and set forth to seek his bride. lie rode on gaily for 

several hours, till he found himself in a wood where he 

had never been before, and soon lost his way among its 

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370 LONG, BROAD, AXD QUICKEYE 

winding paths and deep valleys. He tried in vain to see 
where he was: the thick trees shut out the sun, and he 
could not tell which was north and which was south, 
so that he might know what direction to make for. lie 
felt in despair, and had quite given up all hope of getting 
out of this horrible place, when he heard a voice calling 
to him. 

' Hey! hey! stop a minute I' 

The prince turned round and saw behind him a 
very tall man, running as fast as his legs would carry 
him. 

' Wait for me,' he panted, ' and take me into your 
service. If you do, you will never be sorry.* 

'Who are you?' asked the prince, 'and what can 
you do ? ' 

' Long is my name, and I can lengthen my bod} 7 at 
will. Do you see that nest up there on the top of that 
pine-tree? Well, I can get it for you without taking the 
trouble of climbing the tree,' and Long stretched himself 
up and up and up, till he was very soon as tall as the 
pine itself. He put the nest in his pocket, and before 
you could wink your eyelid he had made himself small 
again, and stood before the prince. 

'Yes; you know your business,' said he, 'but birds' 
nests are no use to me. I am too old for them. Now 
if you were only able to get me out of this wood, you 
would indeed be good for something.' 

; Oh, there's no difficulty about that,' replied Long, 
and he stretched himself up and up and up till he was 
three times as tall as the tallest tree in the forest. Then 
he looked all round and said, 'We must go in this 
direction in order to get out of the wood,' and shortening 
himself again, he took the prince's horse by the bridle, 
and led him along. Very soon they got clear of the 
forest, and saw before them a wide plain ending in a pile 
of high rocks, covered here and there with trees, and very 
much like the fortifications of a town. 

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LONG, BROAJ), AND QUICKEYE 371 

As they left the wood behind Long turned to the 
prince and said, c My lord, here conies my comrade. 
You should take him into your service too, as you will 
find him a great help.' 

' Well, call him then, so that I can see what sort of a 
man he is.' 

' He is a little too far off for that/ replied Long. ' He 
would hardly hear my voice, and he could n't be here for 
some time yet, as he has so much to carry. I think I 
had better go and bring him myself,' and this time he 




PUFF5 TIIMSELF OUT 



stretched himself to such a height that his head was lost 
in the clouds, lie made two or three strides, took his 
friend on his back, and set him down before the prince. 
The new-comer was a very fat man, and as round as a 
barrel. 

4 Who are you ? ' asked the prince, l and what can 
you do ? ' 

' Your worship, Broad is my name, and T can make 
myself as wide as I please/ 

4 Let me see how you manage it.' 

<Kun, my lord, as fast as you can, and hide yourself 

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372 LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 

in the wood,' cried Broad, and he began to swell him- 
self out. 

The prince did not understand why he should run to 
the wood, but when he saw Long flying towards it, he 
thought he had better follow his example. He was only 
just in time, for Broad had so suddenly inflated himself 
that he very nearly knocked over the prince and his horse 
too. He covered all the space for acres round. You 
would have thought he was a mountain ! 

At length Broad ceased to expand, drew a deep breath 
that made the whole forest tremble, and shrank into his 
usual size. 

' You have made me run away,' said the prince. ' But 
it is not every day one meets with a man of your sort. 
I will take you into my service.' 

So the three companions continued their journey, and 
when they were drawing near the rocks they met a man 
whose eyes were covered by a bandage. 

' Your excellency,' said Long, ' this is our third 
comrade. You will do well to take him into your service, 
and, I assure } t ou, you will find him worth his salt' 

4 "Who are you?' asked the prince. 'And why are 
3 T our e} T es bandaged? You can never see your way ! ' 

4 It is just the contrary, my lord! It is because I see 
only too well that I am forced to bandage my e} T es. 
Even so T see as well as people who have no bandage. 
When I take it off my eyes pierce through everything. 
Everything I look at catches fire, or, if it cannot catch 
fire, it falls into a thousand pieces. They call me 
Quicke} T e.' 

And so saying he took off his bandage and turned 
towards the rock. As he fixed his eyes upon it a crack 
was heard, and in a few moments it was nothing but a 
heap of sand. In the sand something might be detected 
glittering brightly. Quickeye picked it up and brought 
it to the prince. It turned out to be a lump of pure 
gold. 

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LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 373 

' You are a wonderful creature,' said the prince, * and 
I should be a fool not to take you into my service. But 
sine your eyes are so good, tell me if I am very far from 
the Iron Castle, and what is happening there just now.' 

' If you were travelling alone,' replied Quickeye, ' it 
would take you at least a year to get to it; but as we are 
with you, we shall arrive there to-night. Just uow they 
are preparing supper.' 

4 There is a princess in the castle. Do you see her? ' 

* A wizard keeps her in a high tower, guarded by 
iron bars.' 

4 Ah, help me to deliver her! ' cried the prince. 

And they promised they would. 

Then they all set out through the grey rocks, by the 
bread) made by the eyes of Quickeye, and passed over 
great mountains and through deep woods. And every 
time they met with any obstacle the three friends con- 
trived somehow to put it aside. As the sun was setting, 
the prince beheld the towers of the Iron Castle, and 
before it sank beneath the horizon he was crossing the 
iron bridge which led to the gates. He was only just in 
time, for no sooner had the sun disappeared altogether, 
than the bridge drew itself up and the gates shut them- 
selves. 

There was no turning back now! 

The prince put up his horse in the stable, where 
everything looked as if a guest was expected, and then 
the whole party marched straight up to the castle. In 
the court, in the stables, and all over the great halls, they 
saw a number of men richly dressed, but every one turned 
into stone. The} 7 crossed an endless set of rooms, all 
opening into each other, till they reached the dining-hall. 
It was brilliantly lighted; the table was covered with 
wine and fruit, and was laid for four. They waited a few 
minutes expecting some one to come, but as nobody did, 
they sat down and began to eat and drink, for they were 
very hungry. 

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374 LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 

When they had done their supper they looked about 
for some place to sleep. But suddenly the door burst 
open, and the wizard entered the hall. He was old and 
hump-backed, with a bald head and a grey beard that fell 
to his knees. He wore a black robe, and instead of a 
belt three iron circlets clasped his waist. He led b} T the 
hand a lady of wonderful beauty, dressed in white, with 
a girdle of silver and a crown of pearls, but her face was 
pale and sad as death itself. 

The prince knew her in an instant, and moved eagerly 
forward; but the wizard gave him no time to speak, and 
said : 

'I know why you are here. Very good; you ma} T 
have her if for three nights following you can prevent her 
making her escape. If you fail in this, 3*011 and your 
servants will all be turned into stone, like those who have 
come before you.' And offering the princess a chair, he 
left the hall. 

The prince could not take his eyes from the princess, 
she was so lovely! He began to talk to her, but she 
neither answered nor smiled, and sat as if she were made 
of marble. He seated himself by her, and determined not 
to close his e} T es that night, for fear she should escape him. 
And in order that she should be donbty guarded, Long 
stretched himself like a strap all round the room, Broad 
took his stand by the door and puffed himself out, so that 
not even a mouse could slip by, and Quickeyc leant 
against a pillar which stood in the middle of the floor 
and supported the roof. But in half a second they were 
all sound asleep, and the}' slept sound the whole night 
long. 

In the morning, at the first peep of dawn, the prince 
awoke with a start. But the princess was gone. He 
aroused his servants and implored them to tell him what 
he must do. 

* Calm yourself, my lord,' said Quickeye. 'I have 
found her already, A hundred miles from here there is a 

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LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 375 

forest. In the middle of the forest, an old oak, and on 
the top of the oak, an acorn. This acorn is the princess. 
If Long will take me on his shoulders, we shall soon 
bring her back.' And sure enough, in less time than it 
takes to walk round the cottage, they had returned from 
the forest, and Long presented the acorn to the prince. 

4 Now, your excellency, throw it on the ground.' 

The prince obeyed, and was enchanted to see the princess 
appear at his side. But when the sun peeped for the first 
time over the mountains, the door burst open as before, 
and the wizard entered with a loud laugh. Suddenly he 
caught sight of the princess ; his face darkened, he 
uttered a low growl, and one of the iron circlets gave 
way with a crash. He seized the young girl b} T the hand 
and bore her away with him. 

All that day the prince wandered about the castle, 
studying the curious treasures it contained, but cven'thing 
looked as if life had suddenly come to a standstill. In 
one place he saw a prince who had been turned into stone 
in the act of brandishing a sword round which his two 
hands were clasped. In another, the same doom had fallen 
upon a knight in the act of running away. In a third, a 
serving man was standing eternally trying to conve}' a 
piece of beef to his mouth, and all around them were 
others, still preserving for evermore the attitudes they were 
in when the wizard had commanded ' From henceforth be 
turned into marble.' In the castle, and round the castle, 
all was dismal and desolate. Trees there were, but with- 
out leaves; fields there were, but no grass grew on them. 
There was one river, but it never tlowed and no fish 
lived in it. No flowers blossomed, and no birds sang. 

Three times during the day food appeared, as if by 
magic* for the prince and his servants. And it was not 
until supper was ended that the wizard appeared, as on 
the previous evening, and delivered the princess into the 
care of the prince. 

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376 LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 

All four determined that this time they would keep 
awake at any cost. Jiut it was no use. Off they went as 
they had done before, and when the prince awoke the 
next morning the room was again empty. 

With a pang of shame, he rushed to find Quiekeye. 
' Awake ! Awake ! Quiekeye ! Do you know what has 
become of the princess?' 

Quiekeye rubbed his eyes and answered : ' Yes, I 
see her. Two hundred miles from here there is a moun- 
tain. In this mountain is a rock. In the rock, a precious 
stone. This stone is the princess. Long shall take me 
there, and we will be back before you can turn round. 7 

So Long took him on his shoulders and they set out. 
At every stride they covered twenty miles, and as they 
drew near Quiekeye fixed his burning eyes on the moun- 
tain ; in an instant it split into a thousand pieces, and 
in one of these sparkled the precious stone. They picked 
it up and brought it to the prince, who flung it hastily 
down, and as the stone touched the floor the princess 
stood before him. When the wizard came, his eyes shot 
forth flames of fury. Cric-crac was heard, and another 
of his iron bands broke and fell. He seized the princess 
by the hand and led her off, growling louder than ever. 

All that day things went on exactly as they had done 
the day before. After supper the wizard brought back 
the princess, and looking him straight in the e} T es he 
said, ' We shall see which of us two will gain the prize 
after all ! ' 

That night they struggled their very hardest to keep 
awake, and even walked about instead of sitting down. 
But it was quite useless. One after another they had 
to give in, and for the third time the princess slipped 
through their fingers. 

When morning came, it was as usual the prince who 
awoke the first, and as usual, the princess being gone, he 
rushed to Quiekeye. 

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LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 379 

* Get up, get up, Qnickeye, and tell me where is the 
princess? > 

Qnickeye looked about for some time without answer- 
ing. l Oh, my lord, she is far, very far. Three hundred 
miles away there lies a black sea. In the middle of this 
sea there is a little shell, and in the middle of the shell is 
fixed a gold ring. That gold ring is the princess. But 
do not vex your soul; we will get her. Only to-day, 
Long must take Broad with him. lie will be wanted 
badly.' 

So Long took Qnickeye on one shoulder, and Broad 
on the other, and they set out. At each stride they left 
thirty miles behind them. "When they reached the black 
sea, Qnickeye showed them the spot where they must 
seek the shell. But though Long stretched down his hand 
as far as it would go, he could not find the shell, for it lay 
at the bottom of the sea. 

4 "Wait a moment, comrades, it will be all right. I will 
help you,' said Broad. 

Then he swelled himself out so that you would have 
thought the world could hardly have held him, and stoop- 
ing down he drank, lie drank so much at every mouth- 
ful, that only a minute or so passed before the water had 
sunk enough for Long to put his hand to the bottom. He 
soon found the shell, and pulled the ring out. But time 
had been lost, and Long had a double burden to carry. 
The dawn was breaking fast before they got back to the 
castle, where the prince was waiting for them in an agony 
of fear. 

Soon the first rays of the sun were seen peeping over 
the tops of the mountains. The door burst open, and 
finding the prince standing alone the wizard broke into 
peals of wicked laughter. But as he laughed a loud crash 
was heard, the window fell into a thousand pieces, a gold 
ring glittered in the air, and the princess stood before the 
enchanter. For Qnickeye, who was watching from afar, 
had told Long of the terrible danger now threatening the 

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380 LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKETE 

prince, and Long, summoning all his strength for one 
gigantic effort, had thrown the ring right through the 
window. 

The wizard shrieked and howled with rage, till the 
whole castle trembled to its foundations. Then a crash 
was heard, the third band split in two, and a crow flew 
out of the window. 

Then the princess at length broke the enchanted 
silence, and blushing like a rose, gave the prince her 
thanks for her unlooked-for deliverance. 

But it was not only the princess who was restored to 
life by the flight of the wicked black crow. The marble 
figures became men once more, and took up their occupa- 
tions just as they had left them off. The horses neighed 
in the stables, the flowers blossomed in the garden, the 
birds flew in the air. the fish darted in the water. Every- 
where you looked, all was life, all was joy ! 

And the knights who had been turned into stone came 
in a body to offer their homage to the prince who had set 
them free. 

4 Do not thank me,' he said, ' for I have done nothing. 
Without my faithful servants, Long, Broad, and (juick- 
eye, I should even have been as one of you.' 

With these words he bade them farewell, and departed 
with the princess and his faithful companions for the 
kingdom of his father. 

The old king, who had long since given up all hope, 
wept for joy at the sight of his son, and insisted that the 
wedding should take place as soon as possible. 

All the knights who had been enchanted in the Iron 
Castle were invited to the ceremony, and after it had 
taken place, Long, Broad, and Quickeye took leave of 
the young couple, saying that they were going to look for 
more work. 

The prince offered them all their hearts could desire 
if they would only remain with him. but they replied that 

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LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE 381 

an idle life would not please them, and that they could 
never be happy unless they were busy, so they went away 
to seek their fortunes, and for all I know are seeking 
still. 

\_Conies populaires. Traduits par Louis L6ger. Paris: Leroux, ^diteur.] 



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382 



PRUNELLA 

Tiieue was once upon a time a woman who had an only 
daughter. When the child was about seven years old 
she used to pass every day, on her way to school, an 
orchard where there was a wild plum tree, with delicious 
ripe plums hanging from the branches. Each morning 
the child would pick one, and put it into her pocket to 
eat at school. For this reason she was called Prunella. 
Now, the orchard belonged to a witch. One day the witch 
noticed the child gathering a plum, as she passed along 
the road. Prunella did it quite innocently, not knowing 
that she was doing wrong in taking the fruit that hung 
close to the roadside. But the witch was furious, and 
next day hid herself behind the hedge, and when Prunella 
came past, and put out her hand to pluck the fruit, she 
jumped out and seized her by the arm. 

' Ah ! you little thief ! ' she exclaimed. ' 1 have caught 
you at last. Now you will have to pay for your misdeeds.' 

The poor child, half dead with fright, implored the old 
woman to forgive her, assuring her that she did not know 
she had done wrong, and promising never to do it again. 
But the witch had no pity, and she dragged Prunella 
into her house, where she kept her till the time should 
come when she could have her revenge. 

As the years passed Prunella grew up into a very 
beautiful girl. Now her beauty and goodness, instead of 
softening the witch's heart, aroused her hatred and 
jealousy. 

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PRUNELLA 883 

One clay she called Prunella to her, and said : 4 Take 
this basket, go to the well, and bring it back to me filled 
with water. If you don't I will kill you.' 

The girl took the basket, went and let it down into 
the well again and again, lint her work was lost labour. 
Each time, as she drew up the basket, the water streamed 
out of it. At last, in despair, she gave it up, and leaning 
against the well she began to cry bitterly, when sud- 
denly she heard a voice at her side saying ' Prunella, why 
are you crying? ' 

Turning round she beheld a handsome youth, who 
looked kindly at her, as if he were sorry for her trouble. 

c Who are you/ she asked, ' and how do you know 
my name? ' 

'I am the son of the witch,' he replied, 'and my 
name is Bensiabel. 1 know that she is determined tliat 
you shall die, but I promise you that she shall not carry 
out her wicked plan. Will you give me a kiss, if 1 fill 
your basket? ' 

1 No,' said Prunella, 4 I will not give you a kiss, 
because you are the son of a witch.' 

' Very well,' replied the youth sadly. ' Give me your 
basket and I will fill it for you.' And he dipped it into 
the well, and the water stayed in it. Then the girl 
returned to the house, carrying the basket filled with 
water. "When the witch saw it, she became white with 
rage, and exclaimed ; Bensiabel must have helped you.' 
And Prunella looked down, and said nothing. 

4 Well, we shall see who will win in the end,' said the 
witch, in a great rage. 

The following day she called the girl to her and said: 
' Take this sack of wheat. I am going out for a little ; by 
the time 1 return 1 shall expect you to have made it into 
bread. If you have not done it I will kill you.' Having 
said this she left the room, closing and locking the door 
behind her. 

Poor Prunella did not know what to do. It was 

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384 PRUNELLA 

impossible for her to grind the wheat, prepare the dough, 
and bake the bread, all in the short time that the witeh 
would be away. At first she set to work bravely, but 
when she saw how hopeless her task was, she threw her- 
self on a chair, and began to weep bitterly. She was 
roused from her despair by hearing Bensiabel's voice at 
her side saying : k Prunella, Prunella, do not weep like 
that. If you will give me a kiss I will make the bread, 
and you will be saved.' 

4 1 will not kiss the son of a witch,' replied Prunella. 

But Bensiabel took the wheat from her, and ground 
it, and made the dough, and when the witch returned the 
bread was ready baked in the oven. 

Turning to the girl, with fury in her voice, she said: 
E Bensiabel must have been here and helped you ; ' and 
Prunella looked down, and said nothing. 

4 AVe shall see who will win in the end,' said the 
witch, and her eyes blazed with anger. 

Next day she called the girl to her and said : * Go 
to my sister, who lives across the mountains. She will 
give you a casket, which you must bring back to me.' 
This she said knowing that her sister, who was a still 
more cruel and wicked witch than herself, would never 
allow the girl to return, but would imprison her and 
starve her to death. But Prunella did not suspect any- 
thing, and set out quite cheerfully. On the way she met 
Bensiabel. 

4 Where are you going, Prunella?' he asked. 

4 1 am going to the sister of my mistress, from whom 
I am to fetch a casket.' 

4 Oh poor, poor girl ! ' said Bensiabel. 4 You are being 
sent straight to your death. Give me a kiss, and I will 
save you.' 

But again Prunella answered as before, 4 1 will not 
kiss the son of a witch.' 

4 Nevertheless, I will save your life,' said Bensiabel, 
4 for I love you better than myself. Take this flagon of 
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PRUNELLA 385 

oil, this loaf of bread, this piece of rope, and this broom. 
When you reach the witch's house, oil the hinges of the 
door with the contents of the flagon, and throw the loaf 
of bread to the great fierce mastiff, who will come to 
meet you. AVhen you have passed the dog, you will see 
in the courtyard a miserable woman trying in vain to 
let down a bucket into the well with her plaited hair. 
You must give her the rope. In the kitchen you will 
find a still more miserable woman trying to clean the 
hearth with her tongue ; to her you must give the 
broom. Yon will see the casket on the top of a cup- 
board, take it as quickly as you can, and leave the house 
without a moment's delay. If you do all this exactly as I 
have told you, you will not be killed. 

So Prunella, having listened carefully to his instruc- 
tions, did just what he had told her. She reached the 
house, oiled the hinges of the door, threw the loaf to 
the dog, gave the poor woman at the well the rope, and the 
woman in the kitchen the broom, caught up the casket 
from the top of the cupboard, and lied with it out of the 
house. But the witch heard her as she ran away, and 
rushing to the window called out to the woman in the 
kitchen : ' Kill that thief, I tell you I ' 

But the woman replied : ' I will not kill her, for she 
has given me a broom, whereas you forced me to clean 
the hearth with my tongue.' 

Then the witch called out in fury to the woman at 
the well; 'Take the girl, I tell you, and fling her into 
the water, and drown her ! ' 

But the woman answered; ' No, I will not drown her, 
for she gave me this rope, whereas you forced me to use 
my hair to let down the bucket to draw water.' 

Then the witch shouted to the dog to seize the girl 
and hold her fast; but the dog answered ; ' No, I will not 
seize her, for she gave me a loaf of bread, whereas you 
let me starve with hunger.' 

The witch was so angry that she nearly choked, as 

25 

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386 PRUNELLA 

she called out ; ' Door, bang upon her, and keep her a 
prisoner/ 

But the door answered ; ' I won't, for she has oiled my 
hinges, so that they move quite easily, whereas you left 
them all rough and rusty.' 

And so Prunella escaped, and, with the casket under 
her arm, reached the house of her mistress, who, as 3-011 
may believe, was as angry as she was surprised to see 
the girl standing before her, looking more beautiful than 
ever. Her eyes flashed, as in furious tones she asked her, 
4 Did you meet Bensiabel?' 

But Prunella looked down, and said nothing. 

4 We shall see,' said the witch, c who will win in the 
end. Listen, there are three cocks in the hen-house; one 
is yellow, one black, and the third is white. If one of 
them crows during the night you must tell me which one 
it is. Woe to you if you make a mistake. I will gobble 
you up in one mouthful.' 

Now Bensiabel was in the room next to the one 
where Prunella slept. At midnight she awoke hearing a 
cock crow. 

' A\Tiich one was that? ' shouted the witch. 

Then, trembling, Prunella knocked on the wall and 
whispered: 'Bensiabel, Bensiabel, tell me, which cock 
crowed? ' 

' Will you give me a kiss if I tell you? ' he whispered 
back through the wall. 

But she answered ' No.' 

Then he whispered back to her ; ' Nevertheless, I will 
tell you. It was the yellow cock that crowed.' 

The witch, who had noticed the delay in Prunella's 
answer, approached her door calling angrily : c Answer at 
once, or I w T ill kill you.' 

So Prunella answered: 'It was the yellow cock that 
crowed.' 

And the witch stamped her foot and gnashed her 
teeth. 

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PRUNELLA 387 

Soon after another cock crowed. ' Tell me now 
which one it is,' called the witch. And, prompted by 
Bensiabel, Prunella answered : 4 That is the black cock.' 

A few minutes after the crowing was heard again, 
and the voice of the witch demanding l Which one was 
that?' 

And again Prunella implored Bensiabel to help her. 
But this time lie hesitated, for he hoped that Prunella 
might forget that he was a witch's son, and promise to 
give him a kiss. And as he hesitated he heard an 
agonised cry from the girl: * Bensiabel, Bensiabel, save 
me ! The witch is coming, she is close to me, I hear the 
gnashing of her teeth ! ' 

With a bound Bensiabel opened his door and flung 
himself against the witch. He pulled her back with such 
force that she stumbled, and falling headlong, dropped 
down dead at the foot of the stairs. 

Then, at last, Prunella was touched by Bensiabel's 
goodness and kindness to her, and she became his wife, 
and they lived happily ever after. 



CE?:TFT L CIRCULATION 

CHILDREN'S ROOM 



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